Our Leadership, Reports and Financials


  • Board of Directors

  • Mark D. Smith, President

    Mark is a partner in the law firm Goodwin Procter, specializing in technology start-up financing. A passionate advocate for native plants, he can often be found pulling invasives or planting natives in our Demonstration Garden or at his home. Mark brings valuable nonprofit experience, having served on multiple nonprofit boards. And we especially love his energy at our annual Plant Sale!

  • Seth Wilkinson.

    Seth Wilkinson, Vice President

    Seth Wilkinson is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner and President of Wilkinson Ecological Design.  Considered an expert and frequent instructor in the field of bioengineering and ecological restoration, Seth has led hundreds of ecological restoration projects for private individuals, land trusts and municipalities over the last two decades. 

  • Candace Young

    Candace Young, Treasurer

    Candace's first career was in finance, and her second followed her deeper passion for landscape design. After studying as a master gardener and in several other programs, she ran her own design, installation, and maintenance business. She is now a community steward at Fresh Pond Reservation in Cambridge. She volunteers at Grow Native in many capacities, including her much appreciated role as Treasurer.

  • Ruth Loetterle

    Ruth Loetterle, Clerk

    Ruth is a Senior Associate at IBI Placemaking, formerly Carol R. Johnson Associates. Years after earning her Masters in Landscape Architecture, it was reading Sara Stein's book, Noah's Garden, that fired her commitment to designing landscapes as functional ecosystems. She jumped at the opportunity to get involved in Grow Native at our founding and serves on the Committee for Public Planting in Cambridge, MA.

  • Janet Burns.

    Janet Burns

    Janet has a Masters in Landscape Architecture and her entire career focused on conservation. She serves on the Cambridge Fresh Pond Advisory Board, reviewing planting plans and restoration projects at the Reservation. While living in Madison, Wisconsin in the 1980's she had the opportunity to learn from the early leaders in the renewed native plant movement, including Darrel Morrison and William Jordan. 

  • Suzanne Korschun.

    Suzanne Korschun

    Suzanne is a senior graphic designer at UMass Boston. She was first introduced to native plants at a Grow Native Traveling Talk at her local public library. This motivated her to start transitioning her home garden and to advocate for native plants throughout her community. She continues to be inspired by our workshops and lectures, volunteers at our Plant Sale, and enjoys our growing community.

  • Hilary Shields

    Hilary Shields

    Hilary is an HR Business Partner at Sanofi where she works with R&D leaders to attract, develop, and retain talent.  She joined Grow Native to learn how to support pollinators and quickly got engaged in a deeper appreciation of native plant ecology.  Hilary is now transforming her own backyard and helping others do the same, to support not just pollinators, but birds and all wildlife.

  • Alex Van Praagh

    Alex Van Praagh

    Alex is an MIT-trained architect who has worked internationally on universities, schools and hospitals. Currently he has a design-build practice in Cambridge where he and his wife are raising their three children. He is gifted at working with stones in the landscape and shaping small-scale places. He has served on the board since its inception where his appreciation for native plants has grown each year.  


  • Staff

  • Executive Director, Heather Pruiksma

    Heather Pruiksma, Executive Director

    Before joining our team in early 2022 as our second chief executive, Heather spent two decades at Earthwatch Institute, most recently as Director of Program Delivery. She understands the importance of connecting science to citizen action, and is passionate about the value of individual and volunteer engagement in addressing environmental challenges. Her personal love of community theater and fun spirit infuses her approach to leadership.

  • Meredith Gallogly, Manager of Programs

    Meredith joined Grow Native in 2014 as our very first paid staff person. She runs our Plant Sale, teaches numerous workshops, produces our eNews, and helps to manage programs overall. She received her BA from Smith College in Biological Sciences. An avid plant observer, she has been exploring the flora of metro Boston's region for much of the past decade. You definitely want to go on one of her plant walks!

  • Helene Sroat

    Helene Sroat, Office Manager

    A long-time volunteer at our plant sale, Helene joined our staff in 2021. She enjoys her coordinating role— interacting with members and the public while taking care of behind-the-scenes details for programs and operations. With a PhD. in Art History, she brings a passion for architectural and landscape design, and, like many of us, continually attempts to squeeze ever more native plants into her garden.


  • Volunteers of the Year

    We are delighted to recognize the exceptional people who do so much every year to bring our programs to life.

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    Robin Wilkerson: 2021 Volunteer of the Year

    Robin is a long-time volunteer at our Native Plant Sale, and we have greatly benefited from her diligence, enthusiasm, and early-bird disposition. Even when a plant delivery got rescheduled to 6:00 am at the last minute, she showed up before the truck arrived to start the unloading process. A true lover of plants, she has worked tirelessly to organize our inventory, spent hours watering plants to keep them alive during mid-June heat waves, and assisted many customers in selecting appropriate species.

    Thank you, Robin!

     

  • Previous Volunteer of the Year award recipients.

    2020 Amy Meltzer For her exceptional advocacy for our mission throughout the community.
    2019 Ellen Menounos For her highly skilled work at our Native Plant Sale, for so many years.
    2018 Suzanne Korschun For volunteering in so many capacities— from Plant Sale, to Demo Garden, to the office.
    2017 Virginia Kropas For the willingness to help with any task— staying to the very end at events, no matter how cold.
    2016 Diana Brandi For her infectious enthusiasm for our mission, leading outreach and community projects in Nahant.
    2015 Ruth Loetterle For her dedication in volunteering to help run more than 40 programs and events since 2010. 
    2014 Jonathan Baker For his commitment and help in managing the move of our IT infrastructure to our new office.
    2014 Phil Lounsbury For hands-on leadership in renovating our new office and keeping all of us cleaning and painting!
    2013 Joan & Phil Lounsbury For transforming their Melrose gardens; becoming community leaders and advocates for natives.
    2012 Susan Bringola For her exceptional work as our volunteer bookkeeper over several years.
    2012 Cynthia Frawley For the beautiful design of our flyers and printed communications, now and in the future!