Garden Time Staff
Kate Lacouture, Co-founder, Executive Director & Educator. Kate is a landscape architect, licensed arborist, and garden activist in Providence, RI. She has been teaching incarcerated men and women gardening and green industry skills at the RI ACI for twelve years. She developed the Green Reentry Job Training program and curriculum, and has been teaching formerly incarcerated Rhode Islanders for three years.
Vera Bowen, Co-founder, Board President & Educator. Vera is the past president of the Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs and is a national accredited flower show judge. She was the New England Region Director of Garden Clubs and a Director of the RI Horticultural Society. She has been a longstanding member of the Bristol Garden Club, a volunteer in Blithewold’s gardens and is a past director of RI Children’s Garden Network.
Emily Cotter, Educator. Emily’s professional background is in organic vegetable farming and drug policy activism. Alongside her work at Garden Time, she organizes with other farmers around food justice issues, writes a cannabis column for Motif Magazine, and is a co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of Lovewell Farms, a local hemp farm and CBD producer. Her passion for social justice, environmental sustainability, and love of plants all come together in the gardens at the ACI, and she is driven to help foster a learning environment that is compassionate, engaging, and inclusive.
Aloysius “Ace” Weah, Green Reentry Coordinator & Canopy Crew Leader. Ace Weah is a graduate of the Garden Time to Work program and the Green Reentry Job Training program. He brings much to the team, including a passion for working with people, a talent for outreach, and his lived experience.
“I keep coming back to the program because this program and the instructors make me feel human again. Getting dirty, pulling weeds is the next thing to ‘mental freedom’.”
Garden Time Board of Directors
Vera Bowen: Board President & Co-Founder, Garden Time; National Accredited Flower Show Judge; Past Director of New England Region, Past President, National Federation of Garden Clubs; Past Director, RI Horticultural Society; Past Director, Rhode Island Children’s Garden Network. (Board member from Incorporation/2013-present)
Kate Lacouture: Executive Director & Co-Founder, Garden Time; Landscape Architect & Principal, Green Circle Design. (Non-voting Board member from Incorporation/2013-present)
Robert Rafka: Board Vice-President, Garden Time; High School Science Teacher, former Chemist at Pfizer, URI Master Gardener. (Board member from 2016-present)
Gerard Donley: Garden Time Program Graduate; Editor for Boston lawbook publisher and freelance legal web-content writer for U.S. law firms. (Board member from 2016-present)
Stephanie Moniz: Garden Time Program Graduate; Artist, Author & Activist; New Leaders Council, Board member, Co-chair of selections; The Womxn Project Fellow. (Board member from Incorporation/2020-present)
Garden Time Guest Experts & Volunteers (partial list)
Amelia Rose, Groundwork RI
Shannon Brawley, RI Nursery & Landscape Association (RINLA)
Kate Venturini, URI Cooperative Extension
Robert Rafka, (aka Dr. Dirt), Chemist/Master Gardener/Teacher
Mary Blue, Herbalist, Farmacy Herbs
Rich Pederson, Farmer, Southside Community Land Trust
Andy Radin, URI Ag Extension Agent
Thea Upham, Farm Fresh RI
Leo Pollock, The Compost Plant
Matt Gennuso, Chef, Chez Pascal
Katie Miller, Farmer
Emily Leeser, OpenDoors
Eugenie Najjar, Ground Flora
Chris English, Revive the Roots
Tanya Solberg, Dietician
Tony Adams, Beekeeper
Vicki Iannuccillo, Artist
John Campanini, RI Tree Council
Michael Bradlee, Earth Appliance
Elizabeth Truskoski, Herbalist
Catherine Mardosa, Farmer
Esther Solondz, Artist
Sherrie Andre, Fang Collective
Lauri Roberts, Farming Turtles
Nancy Warner, Worm Ladies of Charlestown
Judy Titzel, MVP!