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  • Rachael Brady

Meet Our Newest Board Members!

At January’s Annual Meeting, we welcomed two new members to the Friends of the Community Growing Center Board of Directors: Gretchen Biesecker, a runner, hiker, and developmental psychologist; and Rachael Brady (me!), an artist, writer, and marketer. Both are Somerville residents.

Gretchen discovered the Growing Center in 2019 and quickly fell in love with the mission of providing access to green open space to children and adults alike. “Offering access to nature and building community and belonging is important to me,” she said. 

Gretchen hosting Open Garden Hours; Rachael as a vendor selling art wares at the Seasonal Salvage Sale & Makers' Market.

Gretchen began volunteering at the Growing Center as an Open Garden host in 2022, a position she grew to love. Open Hours hosts open up the garden gates for visitors several hours per day on certain days, putting out an information table and greeting folks as they come in. “As a volunteer, I’ve loved getting to know visitors and witnessing the development of programs, events, and the garden itself,” she noted. As a board member, she is looking forward to diving into fundraising and strategic planning. 

Like Gretchen, I quickly fell in love with the Center’s mission. I found the Growing Center in 2021 when I first moved to Somerville. Service has always been a core part of my life, so when I moved, I knew I wanted to find a place to connect with the community in a meaningful way. I started volunteering slowly at events and then jumped into communications, helping out with editing and writing blog pieces alongside Betsy. I always left the Growing Center feeling better than when I’d arrived, and I know so many visitors feel the same way. 

As a Board member, I’m looking forward to working more on communications and jumping in where help is needed whether that’s in program planning, fundraising, or strategy.

Recently, we both got to experience the Maple Boil Down for the first time - an event that just celebrated 25 years. We’re in complete awe of the time and energy that it takes to produce maple syrup. You can just feel how special this place is when more than 600 people come together in the drizzle for annual events like this one. We’re so honored to be a part of the team.

Read more about us on the Board of Directors & Staff page!


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