Wild Seed Project tree background image
Wild Seed Project

The mission of Wild Seed Project is to inspire people to take action and join us in increasing the presence of native plants grown from wild seed.

Our vision is that people create and repopulate landscapes to be abundant with native plants that safeguard wildlife habitat, support biodiversity, and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Photograph of Andrea Berry

Andrea Berry

Andrea Berry, Executive Director
Andrea joined Wild Seed Project as the organization’s Executive Director in 2021, bringing 15 years of nonprofit experience in fundraising and program management. A passionate backyard gardener and amateur beekeeper, Andrea’s love of nature and all growing things is central to her leadership here.

Before she joined WSP, Andrea was Director of Community Engagement at Maine Initiatives, orchestrating events and managing communications. She was also Program Officer for the Grants for Change Fund and the Community Care Fund. In previous work lives, Andrea has been a development director, a nonprofit technology trainer, a middle school math teacher, and even an archaeologist. A community organizer at heart, Andrea has spent her career working to build movements around racial justice, gender equity, and equal access to education.

Andrea holds a BA from Wesleyan University in Archaeology and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University. She has served on the Board of Directors at the Maine Women’s Lobby, Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, and Friends of the REACH School.

At home, Andrea gardens to supply her roadside farm stand and bakes wood-fired pizza in her homemade outdoor clay oven. She lives in North Yarmouth with her partner, their middle-school-aged daughter, two dogs, a hedgehog, and four chickens.

Photograph of Jen Rowland

Jen Rowland

Jen Rowland, MS, Deputy Director
Originally from southern New England, Jen moved to northern New England to attend college at the University of New Hampshire, and has been drawn to the area ever since. A plant-lover and gardener, she is thrilled to work at Wild Seed Project and put her detail-oriented nature to work in developing internal systems and operations. Jen received a BS in Environmental Conservation Studies from UNH and an MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England. She lives in Portland with her husband and goofy dog.

 

 


Emily Baisden, Seed Program Manager

Prior to joining Wild Seed Project in 2022, Emily served as Entomologist and Educator at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. She has an extensive background in native horticulture and environmental education, and focuses largely on using native plants to support food webs and biodiversity. She holds a BS in Environmental Science from the University of New England and an MS in Entomology from the University of Delware. She is an avid birder and has a lifelong goal of being able to identify all the flora and fauna in Maine. She lives in Brunswick, where she spends most of her time adventuring with her partner and their dog, and establishing wildlife habitat in her yard.

Anna Fialkoff, MS, Ecological Programs Manager
As Wild Seed Project’s Ecological Programs Manager, Anna furthers the organization’s educational mission to inspire people to return native plants to the Maine landscape and works with partners to demonstrate ecology in action. Anna was most recently Senior Horticulturist at Native Plant Trust’s Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA, where she designed and installed native plant gardens, managed interns and volunteers, and taught community members ways to incorporate native plants in their own gardens. With a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and an MS in Ecological Design from The Conway School, she brings with her a deep knowledge of native plant ecology, horticulture, conservation, and ecological landscape design.

Jess Gildea, Development & Communications Manager

Jess joined Wild Seed Project in 2022. She brings over ten years of experience designing high impact, community-led programs and partnerships in nonprofit spaces, most recently as the Youth & Family Initiatives Manager at Good Shepherd Food Bank, where she worked alongside over 400 schools and colleges statewide to increase food access for Maine families. In 2020, she created the Community Redistribution Fund at GSFB, a community-led grantmaking program focused on increasing access to culturally important foods through grassroots efforts. Prior to moving to Maine, she served as the Curator of Education for the Neuberger Museum of Art at SUNY Purchase College, and has worked in a range of programmatic capacities in nonprofit art spaces in the greater New York City area. She lives in South Portland with her wife and young child, where they spend as much time as possible outdoors, in all seasons, hiking and exploring the coast.

Addie Wright, Community Rewilding Fellow
Addie grew up in Richmond, Virginia before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado to get their BS in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University. They spent their summers interning at The Nature Conservancy and The Sacred Land Film project, an organization that deepens public understanding of sacred places, indigenous cultures, and environmental justice. After college, Addie spent time in Northern California working in community development and moved to Maine after a fifty day outdoor educator course with Outward Bound. Outside of work, Addie loves reading, writing, and spends most early mornings running on the beach with their dog.

Erin Clancy

Erin Clancy

Erin Clancy, President, is an independent consultant and activist who helps non- and for-profit enterprises articulate and achieve their strategic and business plans, and maximize their social impact. She draws upon more than 20 years of executive experience in early stage and start-up technology ventures, leadership of small non-profit enterprises, and a Masters in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from Babson College. Erin works to motivate people and companies to take positive actions to reduce our collective environmental impact, and to develop solutions for our urgent environmental problems. Early adventures in the great wildernesses of the Everglades and the coast of Maine imprinted upon her a sense of wonder and an awareness of their fragility, and eventually led her to work in environmental advocacy, most recently as Conservation Director for the Tropical Audubon Society. She is fortunate to split her time between South Florida and Maine.

Photograph of Stina Kayser

Stina Kayser

Stina Kayser, J.D., Vice President, develops, operates, and advises economically profitable and environmentally sustainable businesses. She currently serves as general counsel and principal with Urban Villages, Inc. and Bio-Logical Capital, LLC. Stina earned a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison Law School and a B.A. from Marquette University. Stina is passionate about the role native plants play in our ecosystem, and is particularly excited about how Wild Seed Project helps individuals take action in their own landscapes to support native plants. She lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where she and her husband are active gardeners.

Photograph of Greg Field

Greg Field

Greg Field, Ph.D., Treasurer, is currently the Director of Finance and Operations at the Maine Island Trail Association. In previous positions, Greg has served in Finance and Operations for other small Maine non-profits. He has served on numerous boards, most recently as Board Treasurer, then Board President at Maine Initiatives. Through his work at MITA he has learned firsthand about the spread of invasive species along Maine’s coast. Greg is an avid vegetable gardener and with guidance from his wife Ginny, he is discovering ways in which to restore native plants and habitat at their home in Yarmouth.

Photograph of Ginger Laurits

Ginger Laurits

Ginger Laurits, PT, DPT, Secretary, started as a Wild Seed Project volunteer and joined the board upon retirement from a 44-year-long career as a physical therapist. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Simmons College and clinical doctorate in physical therapy from Utica College. Ginger has volunteered as a docent for Mass Audubon at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, which included maintaining the nature garden, and is currently a Master Gardener volunteer at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, coordinating and maintaining the native plant garden with other volunteers. She has been an avid gardener for most of her adult life, and has been enjoying growing her own native plants from seed for her home garden and the Wells Reserve.

Lily Collins is a WSP volunteer with a background in regenerative agriculture and conservation works. She has a strong interest in systems and efficiency and is very passionate about the mission of WSP.
Photograph of Julia Frederick

Julia Frederick

Julia Frederick is a landscape architect who lives in Freeport, Maine. She holds an undergraduate degree in History from Yale and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard. Julia has joyfully folded the mission of Wild Seed Project into her life. Inspired by her study with master plantsman Piet Oudolf, she maintains a freelance practice designing native plant gardens and also works as a Senior Landscape Architect at Mitchell & Associates in Portland. Her work with STIMSON on Florence Griswold Museum in CT and Pulaski Park in Northampton MA earned national awards from the American Society for Landscape Architects. Her landscapes celebrate local ecology and enrich the relationship between humans and the natural world. In her free time, Julia nurtures her WSP seedlings and has fun rewilding her yard.

Abby Johnston is a serial entrepreneur with a deep passion for the creative process, community building, and growing gardens for food, medicine and pleasure. After a successful career in publishing, Abbie explored other professional and advocacy pursuits and constantly established and grew gardens where there were none, including at the property in Westbrook that she shares with her partner.  Currently, she is the owner of an independent, herb-inspired wellness shop that she runs while she trains to be a community herbalist, with a focus on the cultivation and use of native plant species. When Abby is not eating, creating, or formulating with the wild world of plants, you will find her organizing community cleanups, playing out on Casco Bay or exploring New England on her road bike. Abby connected with Wild Seed Project in early 2020 as a volunteer and joined the WSP Board in January 2022.

After a successful career in biotech, Mary Ellen Lamay decided to pursue her love of plants and a Masters in Environmental Management from the Yale School of The Environment. She was an early participant in Wild Seed Project’s seminal seed sowing course and is also Connecticut DEEP Certified Master Wildlife Conservationist. In her current work as Director of Landowner Engagement for a regional Land Trust in Connecticut, and as a regional leader for the Pollinator Pathway and Green Corridor projects, Mary Ellen has put WSP principles into practice in her work. She has managed and grown a very successful annual native plant sale in Connecticut, even selling plants sown from Wild Seed Project seeds. Mary Ellen joined the WSP Board in January 2022. She is excited to apply her experience inspiring people through positive and thoughtful programs, and helping people to take action steps in their own yard

Ellie Libby is an educator, musician and horticulturist and is happiest when utilizing all three hats to help people connect and interact with the natural world around us. After twenty five years working in youth education and program development, she retired to pursue her passion for plants. She took Wild Seed Project’s seed sowing course in Brooksville, and became hooked on sowing native seeds. In 2017, she received a certificate of merit in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture from Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. She currently works part time at a local nursery and helps a few clients with their gardens. She is also working on invasive plant removal and native species replacement on her 40 acres in Waldoboro, Maine. Ellie joined the WSP board in January 2022, and is very excited to help expand our outreach to the youth demographic.

Photograph of Heather McCargo

Heather McCargo

Heather McCargo, MA, Founder

Heather founded Wild Seed Project in 2014 and served as Executive Director from 2014 to 2021. She now focuses her work on expanding our native seed collection and propagation nursery.

Heather is an educator with 30 years’ experience in plant propagation, landscape design, horticulture, and conservation. A former head plant propagator at the New England Wild Flower Society’s (now Native Plant Trust) Garden in the Woods during the 1990s, Heather has also worked at several landscape architecture/planning firms specializing in ecological design, and has contributed to research projects with USAID, the National Gardening Association, and MOFGA. She has lectured nationally and is widely published in journals and magazines such as Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s “Growing from Seed,” Horticulture, American Nurseryman, Ecological Landscape Alliance, and many others. Heather designed the master plan for the medicinal gardens at Avena Botanicals in Rockport and was the creator of the Bay School Agricultural Arts program in Blue Hill. Heather has a BA in plant ecology from Hampshire College and an MA from the Conway School of Landscape Design.

 

Maggie Perkins, Board of Directors

Maggie Perkins

Maggie Perkins has been involved with Wild Seed Project since 2018 and she is delighted to join as a board member in 2021. Maggie has worked for many local nonprofits as a Marketing and Communications professional, including the Portland Museum of Art and Greater Portland Landmarks. She currently works as a Project Manager for Green & Healthy Maine HOMES magazine. While she is a novice gardener, Maggie is excited to apply the lessons of Wild Seed Project to her first home garden and share what she’s learned with friends and family. She wants to spread the word that incorporating native plants into yards, decks, front stoops or fire escapes is an easy way to help in the fight against climate change – and Wild Seed Project can get you started!

 

When Juanita Roushdy first heard of Wild Seed Project in 2014, she was deeply immersed in the Friends of Hog Island, a nonprofit she founded to support the Audubon Camp on Hog Island in Bremen, Maine, where Juanita lives year round. She is currently Executive Director of Friends of Hog Island. She has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including Audubon North Carolina, Maine Audubon, Lincoln County Community Theater, and Mid-Coast Audubon chapter. During her professional career, Juanita was senior editor and later director of community relations at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. for 27 years. She is an active and long-time volunteer, an avid birder, and conservationist. Her own property is an example of native plants and the ongoing battle with invasive plants, including Oriental Bittersweet! She wishes everyone would replace lawns with natural green areas and hedgerows and enjoy the birds and wildlife it encourages. Juanita has long been an advocate and admirer of WSP  and was delighted to join the Board in January 2022.  

Photograph of Michelle Smith, Board of Directors

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith began working with Wild Seed Project as a volunteer editor and is excited to become more involved as a board member. She is a freelance communications professional and has managed communications and marketing for several Maine nonprofits. She has a BA in English and Environmental Studies and an MA in American Studies. She has a lifelong interest in plants, herbal medicine, and gardening. She lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband and two children, where they are working to transform their lawn to a native plant garden.

 

 

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