As part of our Baseline Infrastructure Initiative, we’ve activated our first-ever DUG Corps along with the Fransisco Cordero legacy apprentice program and a youth green team through Groundwork Denver

Meet the DUG Corps Members

Our first two Corps Members, Anastasia Hill and Eliza Greene, are providing daily ‘boots on the ground’ support for our 180+ gardens. Their work focuses on supporting community-led workdays with extra hands, organizing and leading ‘micro-network’ (clusters of DUG gardens located near one another) educational and social events, and visiting all of the gardens to connect with Garden Leaders and gardeners about their needs, troubleshooting as necessary.

Anastasia started with DUG in 2017, helping to lay the foundation for garden micro-networks as part of her Environmental Leadership graduate thesis project with Naropa University. With a focus on food justice, social systems, and community care, she continued volunteering as both gardener and garden leader in the following years. Originally from Florida, she’s fallen in love with the Colorado ecosystems, including both land and people, and is passionate about bringing individuals closer to each other and the environment that helps them thrive.
She brings over 10 years of non-profit experience in a variety of roles, all involving community activation and connection. In her free time, she’s a Jiu Jitsu practitioner and enjoys gardening at home with her cat or lounging in parks with friends and plenty of snacks.

Eliza joins the 2021 DUG Corps with a passion for gardening and community. She grew up around gardening and farming in Massachusetts and worked in landscaping seasonally for many years. Eliza brings her love for digging in the dirt and helping things grow with her to her role at DUG. With a background in sociology and community organizing, she also brings curiosity about the world around her and dedication to making it better. She loves that community gardens are a place of skill-sharing, education, empowering people, and building community resilience.

In her free time, Eliza is most likely going for a walk in nature with her rescue dog Jasper, lost in a good book, or attending a community event.

We are still hiring for one more seasonal DUG Corps position. BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, non-native English speakers, and other underrepresented folks are encouraged to apply!

Meet our Fransisco Cordero Legacy Apprentice 

Our inaugural apprentice, Alex Oldham, works closely with our Director of Physical Infrastructure and Community Engagement, Nessa Mogharreban. Under her guidance, Alex is working to learn the ropes of urban garden construction and maintenance. Together, they lead our volunteer workdays, attend to maintenance calls in the garden, and work on new infrastructure projects related to the BII.

Alex is our newest member of the team. He is a very outgoing yet nonchalant person who is easy to connect with. Alex is a natural athlete with a lot of motivation to be in better physical shape and reach higher levels of skill. He loves all kinds of fruit and is trying to add more vegetables to his menu.  He grew up doing farm work with his grandfather and is familiar with getting out and doing physical activities. He loves to spend time alone to watch movies or vibe to some music and is a lowkey superhero nerd.

Learn more about Alex in our Faces of DUG project.

Meet our youth green team with Groundwork Denver

Baz, Dante, Greg and leader Magali are part of Groundwork Denver’s program of youth environmentalists, acting as the organization’s task force to implement projects to improve Denver’s urban environment. The principal goals of the Green Team are to prepare youth for educational and career success, encourage them to become engaged members of the community and demonstrate alternative career pathways in fields like natural resources and sustainability.

Under the supervision of our Director of K-12 Education, Rob Payo, the green team works in tandem DUG Corps members to activate underutilized gardens by clearing weeds, laying compost, and repairing plot borders. The green team also maintains our DUG demonstration plot and joins volunteer workdays as needed.

As part of our partnership with Groundwork Denver, the green team is introduced to nutritious cooking through bi-weekly cooking classes at DUG HQ, where they learn how to prepare food that is harvested from the gardens!

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