Hope Guardenier M.S. in Environmental Science As the Executive Director of School Sprouts Educational Gardens, Hope has been instrumental in designing and implementing over 10 teaching gardens throughout the Pioneer Valley. She works with schools, community centers and afterschool programs to realize a vision of outdoor classrooms that allow for hands-on learning and meaningful work. Hope has a M.S. in Environmental Science and additional experience in curriculum development, program coordination, and over a decade of teaching in the outdoors. She serves on the Belchertown Agricultural Commission and is passionate about connecting youth of all ages to their food and bringing learning to life. She and her family live and garden in Belchertown.
Alya Stoffer-Koloszyc M.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Elementary Teaching Certification Alya has danced between farming and teaching since 1996, when she began a three year apprenticeship at Intervale Community Farm, a large CSA in Burlington, Vermont. She combined these passions in her role as Education Coordinator and Market Manager for New York City’s Greenmarket in 1999 and worked on farms between and during teaching jobs over the following decade. Alya collaborated with city educators and market farmers to develop a kindergarten food curriculum, which evolved into her graduate thesis at Bank Street College of Education. She has worked as a classroom teacher for eight years in both public and private settings, growing food inside and out with children from three to six years old. She also co-directed an overnight summer camp in Brattleboro, Vermont and helped to initiate a garden program there. Alya now makes her home and garden in Easthampton with her sons Henry, Barnaby, and her husband Rich.
Meg Taylor M.S. in Environmental Science, Secondary Teaching Certification Meg has worked in the fields of environmental and agricultural education since 1994, working with all ages, preschool through adult. She has worked as a farm educator for Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm and at Shelburne Farms in Vermont. Her agriculture experience includes growing organic produce in Burlington, working as market manager for Boston farmer’s markets, and serving as Project Director for Baltimore Grows – a community and youth gardening USDA food security initiative. Meg has coordinated school and community garden programs, developed garden and farm education curriculum, and taught middle school life science for several years. She founded the Pioneer Valley Backyard Chicken Association, serves on the Williamsburg Agricultural Commission, and on the Advisory Board of Grow Food Northampton. Meg and her family garden and raise fancy chickens and Shetland sheep at their home, North Wind Farm, in Williamsburg.