Sonya has been actively involved with growing vegetables for a good cause ever since she got involved with her daughter’s kindergarten vegetable garden at Arundel Elementary School. She loved the effect gardening has on shaping kids’ healthy eating habits from a young age, as the kids she worked greatly increased their love of vegetables and willingness to try new vegetables when they got to personally experience the process of growing the food that they ate. Sonya’s passion for school gardens led her to the school’s PTA Beautification Committee, which she currently heads.

Sonya (orange vest) as Arundel Site Lead, overseeing installation of Arundel’s Stone Fruit Orchard.

It just so happened that Arundel Elementary School was the site of EGC’s pilot Living Campus project, in large part because of Sonya’s commitment to gardening and thus the school’s interest in pursuing and expanding their gardening activities. The principal connected Sonya with EGC, and the partnership blossomed. She’s been helping out ever since as a pinch hitter for EGC, serving as Site Lead for the Arundel Living Campus project, making project site blueprints for a variety of EGC sites, delivering produce to our partner Second Harvest, and managing work day planning and implementation. She’s also a keen builder, having prototyped the COVID Home Garden Pots (distributed to low-income families at the beginning of the pandemic), the vertical herb towers at Arundel, and various iterations of deer screens for raised beds. This is deer country, after all!

Sonya’s deer fencing work – first iteration in the background, and working on round 2.

Sonya reports that volunteering with EGC has been an incredibly positive and gratifying experience. She enjoys seeing how EGC’s programs are interconnected and watching the organization grow as a whole. Sonya does so much for EGC, and we are so thankful for all of the time, effort, and care she dedicates to volunteer with us. Thank you Sonya!

Written by Nicole Shimizu, Communications and Outreach Coordinator


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