Not only is she Roanoke Times’ Fanatical Botanical, she is also a dedicated horticulturist with a degree in horticulture technology from VWCC. She has been in the field for several years, mostly working in nurseries. Heather has a passion for vegetable gardening which has been cultivated since she was a child growing up in the Wabun area of Roanoke County where her father had at least 3 large garden plots going at one time, which she always helped with. To read her blogs and articles for the Roanoke Times, visit roanoke.com/fanaticalbotanical.
Heather’s job at RCGA includes garden registration and management, organizing educational programs, and finding wonderful speakers for our monthly garden series. She also keeps us informed with her expert horticultural knowhow.
Tina Badger, a graduate of Hollins University (BA ’10), has always had a passion and desire to help others – from the smallest animal to humans in need. That passion was nurtured at Hollins and led to a determination to help those in poverty, with a specific focus on food insecurity. Tina served her first AmeriCorps VISTA term at Feeding American Southwest Virginia and served at RCGA until November 2016 when she transitioned to staff. When she’s not at RCGA, she spends her time as caregiver for her 87-year-old mother, reading, watching movies, exploring Virginia with her husband, entertaining her cats (because everyone knows that cats aren’t there to entertain us!) hiking, biking, doing yoga, or going on adventures -preferably involving dinosaurs or dragons – with her 2 grandchildren.
Tina’s job includes but is not limited to fundraising, grant writing, event planning, and social media management.
“Hi, my name is Maura Lydon, and I’m getting a degree in Environmental Studies because I believe that climate change can be overcome — that humans can solve any problem that we create. I’m looking for a career that not only solves environmental issues but societal issues as well. Horticulture and urban permaculture are of particular interest to me. As humanity continues to urbanize we must find a way to create sustainable cities.”
Maura’s duties at RCGA will include helping with garden registration, overseeing garden programs and management, and website management.
Olivia is a Roanoke native attending Hollins University for her Bachelors of business. She is interested in going into financing for the non-profit sector which is why RCGA has appealed to her. Olivia has a passion for the outdoors, she is a whitewater kayaker, a rock climber, and spends most of her time enjoying wild spaces. Her interests in social and environmental justice have led her to become an advocate for the preservation of land, rivers, and people’s access to clean and sustainable resources.
Olivia’s duties include assisting with fundraising, event planning, grant writing, and various aspects of nonprofit management.
Mark Powell is the founder of Roanoke Community Garden Association. Mark is married to Silva and the father of a beautiful 4-year-old, Emilija. Mark is an avid gardener and saw a need for shared garden space in Roanoke. Mark enjoys working in grassroots organizing and community advocacy and believes building a better world starts by building community in your own backyard. When Mark isn’t helping RCGA or working in the community he thoroughly enjoys collecting books and other treasures.
While Mark no longer has an official title at RCGA he continues to come in and advises Heather and Tina while entertaining them with tales of bargain hunting at estate sales.