Board of Directors

George Brookbank

Founder and inspiration

George founded the Community Gardens of Tucson in 1990 and was a Tucson resident for over 40 years. As an Extension Agent for Urban Horticulture with the U of A Extension Service, George spent 12 years training Master Gardeners and managing the program until his retirement in 1995. George started CGT with the establishment of 4 community gardens in partnership with homeowners as well as the Community Food Bank. George served as Education Director for CGT for 20 years. His popular books include: “Desert Gardening: Fruits and Vegetables”, “Desert Gardening Calendar”, and “Desert Landscaping”.

George passed away March 1st, 2018 and all of us at Community Gardens of Tucson, as well as others in the Tucson gardening community, will miss him dearly. He was a gentle man who was patient and understanding, both with plants and with gardeners, from novice to pro. He was always willing to advise why a plant was not doing well and to help improve someone’s gardening skills. He helped make the desert bloom….

Bruce Plenk

Board Chair, Chair of the Garden Operations Committee, Co-Coordinator of Gregory School Garden

Bruce lives in a house with solar electricity and solar hot water, worked as the solar coordinator for the City of Tucson and now is a solar consultant. He has been the Gregory School Garden co-garden coordinator with Patti Hartmann for several years and continually tries to understand why some plants do well and others don’t in the garden! He says he is still working on that…

Faith Edman

BOARD VICE CHAIR, SITE COORDINATOR AT MARY MEREDITH

Faith has been involved with Community Gardens of Tucson for more than eight years, beginning as a completely ignorant gardener pulled in by a friend at the Benedictine Monastery garden. There she was lucky to learn from George Brookbank, Darlene Schacht, Gene Zonge, other CGT mentors and fellow gardeners. She is deeply grateful to have discovered that gardening, especially community gardening, is a joyful, sanity-enhancing gift. It makes her especially happy to grow pollinator-loving herbs and flowers instead of vegetables. Faith retired as assistant director of Arizona Student Media, the umbrella department for the University of Arizona’s student-run media (Arizona Daily Wildcat newspaper, KAMP Student Radio, and UATV-3) after 31 years of experience in financial/business management, strategic planning, fundraising, marketing and advertising. She also served for 6 years on the international governing board of Nonviolent Peaceforce, which develops and provides professional unarmed civilian peacekeeping to conflict areas around the world.

Parker Filer

TREASURER

Parker Filer grew up playing and working (also snacking. a lot.) in the backyard gardens of his parents and grandparents in western Pennsylvania. Fond memories of harvesting green beans, tasting homegrown watermelon, canning tomatoes, beets and applesauce, and pickling cucumbers, are what motivates his service on the CGT Board of Directors.  Parker began studying plant science and food production at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ in 2001. He later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Hawaii and a Masters degree in International Agriculture and Rural Development form Cornell University. He currently works at the University of Arizona in the Cooperative Extension service as an Assistant Agent of Horticulture where his duties include supporting the Pima County Master Gardener program and Pima Smartscape program.

Sarah Mann

BOARD SECRETARY, CGT OUTREACH COMMITTEE

Sarah Mann, MBA/PMP, is an experienced senior project manager with over 20 years of successful project/program management in private, public and non-profit sectors. Since she and her husband moved to Tucson from Seattle in 2014, Sarah has worked at the Critical Path Institute (C-Path), volunteered with the Community Food Bank and Tohono Chul Park, maintained a garden plot at the CGT’s Presidio Garden, and become an active supporter of Native Seeds and the Pima County Extension Service Master Gardener Program. Recently retired from C-Path, Sarah is committed to building the local community’s awareness and access to healthy food. When not gardening, Sarah enjoys traveling, hiking, photography and exploring the area.

Scott Feierabend

BOARD MEMBER-AT-LARGE

After serving four and one half years as Executive Director of the International Dark Sky Association, Scott retired to pursue a number of personal dreams and passions, including giving back to the nonprofit sector as a volunteer.  Based in Tucson, Arizona, IDA is the world’s only non-profit organization whose sole focus is to reduce light pollution and its many adverse environmental impacts.

Scott, who has worked in the non-profit conservation environmental and advocacy community for 35 years, previously served as Executive Director of Audubon Canyon Ranch, a nonprofit conservation education organization dedicated to protecting lands in northern California through habitat preservation, public education and conservation science. During his four and a half years at ACR, Scott created long‐term financial health and stability for the organization and successfully negotiated the transfer of more than 3,000 acres of wild lands, more than doubling the nonprofit’s Preserve system.

Prior to his work at ACR, Scott served as interim Executive Director and conservation director for California Trout, headquartered in San Francisco, California’s leading nonprofit protecting and restoring California’s wild trout and steelhead. In his role as CalTrout’s Executive Director, Scott managed a multi‐million dollar budget, and was responsible for budgeting, strategic planning, and board governance.

Before leading the conservation work of California Trout, Scott served as Executive Director for the Marin Conservation League, a nonprofit working to preserve, protect and enhance the natural assets of Marin County, California.

Scott’s professional conservation career began in 1980 as an intern with the National Wildlife Federation, where he held a number of positions, including staff scientist, lobbyist, director and vice president. Following a 21‐year career with the NWF, Scott served as the director of conservation programs for The Nature Conservancy’s Alaska Chapter.