Executive Team

Marc Schutzbank

Marc Schutzbank

Director and Poet-In-Chief

“Give me a carrot, a beet, and a lime; I’ll make something so good – it should be a crime!” Marc Schutzbank is our resident poet-in-chief. Marc hails from the United States, coming to Vancouver as a Fulbright Scholar. As a graduate of the M.Sc. Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems program at the University of British Columbia,

he investigated the economic viability of urban farming – exploring how urban farmers are developing their businesses here in Vancouver. One of those farms was Fresh Roots. Marc has worked with Fresh Roots to develop a green thumb business model that does social good. Marc and Fresh Roots has been awarded BC Business’ 30 Under 30 and the BC Social Innovation Youth Award. Marc has a background in genocide prevention policy and finance – issues that he worked on at the University of Pittsburgh when exploring ethical institutional investment. Marc loves to grow, cook, eat, and share – come on over for dinner! When Marc is not on the farm, you can find him running along the beach or checking out a new recipe.
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marc@freshroots.ca

Ilana Labow

Ilana Labow

Founder

Ilana co-founded Fresh Roots with a passion for gardening, compost, and witnessing the awe and wonder of people pulling a carrot out of the ground for their first time. Driven by the collected wisdom and stories of the diverse neighbours and community in East Vancouver, Ilana now helps develop the vision and growth of Fresh Roots.

After receiving urban farming and community development training with Growing Power, and training in conflict-resolution with the multi-national peace institute Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Ilana found herself in Coast Salish territories growing opportunities for good food access and cultural knowledge sharing in Vancouver’s soil. Ilana sits on the Farm to School Greater Vancouver steering committee, is a member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council, and was named one of the Vancouver Parks Board’s Remarkable Women of 2013. Ilana is dedicated to advocating for food literacy and for community members whose voices are not often heard, and energized by the incredible opportunities for collectively creating shared visions for a healthier, just, future.
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Good Food Farm Team

Christine Weston

Farm Manager

After studying agriculture at the University of Guelph, Christine moved to the west coast to further pursue her love of farming. Farm mentor, Safety Captain, planner-extraordinaire, one-time stand-up comedian; it’s safe to say Christine is a multi-tasking master. Full of contagious joy and gratitude, she builds soil and loving community wherever she goes. food@freshroots.ca

Victoria Detoro

Lead Schoolyard Farmer

After earning her Environmental Studies degree in Nova Scotia, Victoria moved to the west coast to take a chance on farming and has never looked back. With two seasons of farming and three years of floral design under her belt, Victoria is most excited to bring her flare for beauty and joy to the Fresh Roots team. When she’s not in the field, you’ll find her tumbling through the forest, borrowing too many books from the library, smashing the patriarchy, and following the whims of her deep curiosity.

Carmen Wong

Schoolyard Farmhand

Carmen studies sustainable agriculture at UBC and loves to grow food and try new things. In the past couple of years, she has started skateboarding, bouldering, swing dancing, practicing logger sports and is currently learning how to unicycle. Last year, she brought her love of growing food to summer camp in Ontario where she had loads of fun with campers in Farmin’ Carmen’s garden.

Jessica Chan

Schoolyard Farmhand

Jessica is a third year Nutritional Science student at the University of British Columbia in the Lands and Foods System. As an upper year student, Jessica has run food literacy workshops and interacted with Vancouver’s community on several occasions, from volunteering with BC Children’s Hospital to working with the City of Vancouver on food production and resilience. Jessica’s appreciation and curiosity of food and food production has led to her optimistic outlook on our seemingly simple food system, she hopes to continue soaking up new information and growing with our farm.

Youth Empowerment Team

rosalind-sadowski

Rosalind Sadowski

Youth Empowerment Manager

Rosalind joins the Fresh Roots team from a diverse background in urban agriculture, sustainable food systems and community organizing. As a graduate of the Land and Food Systems faculty at UBC, she enjoys stewarding projects to their fruition and implementing new approaches to community food security.

As Youth Empowerment Manager, she hopes to engage and inspire young people with the growing potential of schoolyard farms. Her passion for the local food movement in Vancouver has also led to work as the Market Coordinator for the UBC Farm, intern for Inner City Farms, and as the Coordinator for the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project. When she is not munching on locally-grown fruits or veggies, Rosalind loves to practice her Spanish and French, climb mountains, perfect her puns and travel to far-away places.
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rosalind@freshroots.ca

Amanda Luu

SOYL Program Facilitator

After spending two years in the SOYL program herself, Amanda was eager to continue her journey with Fresh Roots. She loves to find ways to engage youth in conversations about food and sustainability, and has a huge passion for environmental education. She is currently studying Science at the University of British Columbia.

Nicole Bruce

SOYL Program Facilitator

A former SOYL program participant, Nicole is excited to join the team and bring the SOYL experience to even more youth this summer!

Experiential Learning Team

Kat Vriesema-Magnuson

Experiential Learning Manager

Kat loves to help kids literally get their hands dirty, and seeing a kid hold their first worm is the highlight of her day. Kat has a Graduate Certificate in Education, Environment and Community from IslandWood, an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from the University of Washington, and over a decade of experience in environmental education.

She is excited to put her skills to work helping students and teachers connect with the land and their community through growing, cooking, and eating Good Food.  When not creating dynamic hands-on learning opportunities, Kat can be found cooking for family and friends, singing,  and learning to sword fight.
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education@freshroots.ca

Heidi Brown

Camp Fresh Roots Administrator

Heidi is going into their final year of Capilano University’s Music Therapy program. When they are not singing songs and leading fun and introspective activities with people from all walks of life, they can be found making herbal medicine and enjoying garden-fresh veggies. Heidi is a passionate proponent of healing as a radical act of resistance, and believes education and community to be some of the most powerful avenues of change.

Anna Dagum

Experiential Learning Program Facilitator

Anna came to Vancouver to attend UBC as a Geography and Natural Resource Conservation student and her passion for educational equity drives her. “To grow a garden is to believe in tomorrow” and to believe in tomorrow is to work actively towards a more just future. Her ultimate goals is to decolonize and revolutionize the public school system. She believes that we have as much to learn from our students as they do from us, and is inspired everyday by their creative minds and incessant curiosity. Anna and her bicycle are inseparable. She loves cooking, laughing, music and plants, and has an obsessive adoration for the sun.

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Marika Laird

Experiential Learning Program Facilitator

Marika is beyond excited to be part of the first ever camp at Fresh Roots! She loves sharing her passion for the food system with kids and is working on her undergraduate degree from the Land and Food Systems faculty at the University of British Columbia. Marika hopes to continue being an educator for kids after graduation. She loves all mountainous sports, trying new foods, learning how to cook said foods, zoning out in her music, and laughing until her face hurts. As a faithful camper for many years, the most important thing she learned from camp was to engage herself with others and try new skills.

Grandview Elementary

Charlotte Hewson

Experiential Learning Program Facilitator

Charlotte is passionate about sustainable food systems and the ability for food to both heal and bring together community. After many years working in the Vancouver school system as an Education assistant she decided to follow her heart and study culinary arts at Northwest Culinary Academy. Now she’s crafted a career that’s the perfect balance of creating food to nourish people in her communities and also working with Students in east Vancouver, to broaden their experiences of growing and sharing food.