Our Team

Annisha Stewart : Project Manager / Gardener Annisha is a passionate community advocate who grew up in Rexdale and has a Community Developmental Service Worker diploma. As founder of the grassroots organization Mama's Healing Garden she has been working in the community building a holistic approach towards healing by providing safe spaces and capacity building from a cultural and ancestral perspective. She sits on the board of directors for The Centre for Advancing the Interests of Black People, North Etobicoke Resident Council as the Treasurer, she is apart of the Toronto Strong Neighborhoods 2020 initiative, is a community advisor, and is one of the Resident Leaders for Elms-Old Rexdale. She has also worked as a Community Animator with Park People and is a Local Champion in the 2020 cohort.

Judith Anan
Garden Manager and Gardener
She is a passionate community advocate with over 20 years farming experience from an Indigenous perspective.

Suzette Lawes and Beverly Lawes : Growing Consultants / Gardeners Suzette Lawes has lived in Tandridge for over 10 years. Having grown up growing food with her family she is deeply passionate about gardening and brings generations of experience along with her mother Beverly Lawes. The two are excited to be a part of this project and look forward to working with the community to provide good food with no chemicals added.

Coleen Jackson: Fundraising / Administrator Coordinator Coleen Jackson lives in the Rexdale Community and brings fundraising and administrative skills to support the project. She is excited to be a part of this project believing that it will play a pivotal role in helping to alleviate the issues we face surrounding food security and healthy eating habits. There is an adage that states: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This project provides the opportunity to not only empower the community but help change the eating habits and help counter the long-term effects of poor diets which continue to plague many in our community.

Laura Hammond, Pollinator Stewardship Coordinator Laura Hammond is a passionate community advocate with over 7 years’ experience working in community development. She is a proud mother of 6 inspiring children and enjoys being involved in creating a vibrant community where all can thrive. She is actively working to decolonize wellness by creating community and providing intentional accessibility using ancestral practices of land stewardship. Specializing in working with microorganisms and pollinators, she connects heritage, cultures, and resilience in our lives by taking care of the land.

Kelsey Carriere, Partner Relations / Project Coordinator / Gardener Kelsey Carriere is a Senior Project Manager at Park People, Canada's only national charity dedicated to activating the power of urban parks. She is an avid community organizer in both local food and community arts projects, being a co-founder of Kensington Market's Pedestrian Sundays, a 15-year standing monthly celebration of community, culture, and ecology; founder of the Wiarton Farmers Market; research fellow at the Food Systems Lab and co-developer of the Food Matters Youth Action Kit for the tri-national Commission for Environmental Cooperation. She brings a background in environmental studies and urban planning to her work and is passionate that citizens and communities hold the potential to forge resilient, sustainable, and self-reliant systems to access healthy food, community support, and quality public space.

Jeremy Cooper, Landscape + Design Consultant / Gardener Jeremy is a gardener by trade running Cooper’s Foodscapes, an organic edible landscape business. He has over 6 years of combined experience working with Evergreen Brickworks as a site steward, The Backyard Urban Farm Company, and Urban Guilds Permaculture. He studied permaculture at the Sundance Harvest Farm School. Jeremy has worked converting multiple private yards into edible ecological landscapes and led group planting projects including the construction of the 5,000 sq ft Medicine Wheel Garden on Toronto Island.

Reiko Ema, Design + Marketing Coordinator / Gardener Reiko Ema is a Project Coordinator who has been leading Park People's Balsam Community Resilience Project and works closely with the community park animators from underserved communities. She studied the anti-oppressive framework, community-based program design, and environmental justice through the Community Worker program at George Brown College. She also has been involved in community engagement and development as the youth leader at Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Canada for promoting peace, culture, and education for over 10 years. Her keen interests are climate change, food security, and equity. She believes that local communities are key to building resilience, which will be a strong foundation for positive change in our society and our planet.

Youth Volunteers

Natalia is a Junior in Middle School. She is very passionate about entrepreneurship and helping others who are experiencing food insecurity. She is ready and eager to participate in the Mama's Healing Garden food justice project. Natalia has a certificate in babysitting and has already put this training to use many times already. She is ready to assist parents working on the project in this regard as well.

Guinevere is a charismatic 12-year-old, who enjoys learning new skills, and loves making music. She is enthusiastic about learning agricultural skills. Her resiliency and ability to adapt to any environment and make the best of it with a smile that lights up the room are so humbling. She is always ready to help, and her courage is remarkable. Volunteer gardener and assists with food distribution

Samuel is a 17-year-old architectural genius who has a keen eye for design and enjoys expressing himself through design. He is passionate about becoming an architect one day and is currently working diligently to achieve that goal. He is thankful to have the opportunity to participate in this project and is excited to be able to utilize his skills to help others. Samuel assists with social media design, and marketing. Samuel will also take part in data collection through leading youth-focused engagement sessions, where youth share experiences surrounding food insecurity.

Abel is 18 and has an interest in becoming an engineer, he is looking forward to gaining transferable skills that will be useful in his future endeavors. Abel is a master tinker and can put anything together, his consistency and aptitude for learning is inspiring. Abel assists with the structural design and building of the plant beds. Volunteer gardener and assists with food distribution