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Board Members

GROW La Crosse is a non-profit organization formed by enthusiastic parents and community members who connect children to health food and nature through school gardens and farm experiences.

We currently maintain over 800 square feet of school gardens in the La Crosse school district and host farm experiences for hundreds of children.  We also raise the funds required to sustain these programs through sponsorships, holding fundraisers, and writing grants.

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President - Jenny Klein

My interest in GROW stems from my roles as an educator and mother.  There is a large body of evidence suggesting that kids learn most effectively when immersed in rich environments that stimulate their natural curiosity and encourage learning through play and experimentation.  Unfortunately, these environments are scarce in traditional school curricula. With over a decade of experience designing active learning environments and an interest in biology, nature, and gardening, I am able to contribute to building these environments in our elementary schools through GROW.

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Vice President - Judson Steinback

Judd comes to us with a lot of knowledge on plants and education.  Judd was a teacher at the La Crosse Waldorf School and then transitioned into running a business Coulee Region Ecoscapes.  We appreciate having Judd's knowledge and point of view on our board.  

Officers

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Heather Young

Heather is very passionate for our community.  Heather helped us start up the garden at Spence Elementary School and helps keep it going.

Heather works for Thrivent Financial.  She enjoys helping provide a variety of financial tools to meet people's changing needs. 

Heather has 3 children and keeps busy with watching them play sports.

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Heidi Worminghaus

Heidi grew up on a small dairy farm in SE WI.  She grew up observing and caring for nature.  She has a bachelor’s degree from Ripon College in Psychobiology (Animal Behavior) and a minor in Environmental Biology.  Her main interests are all rooted in the study of nature: herbal wisdom, applied eco-psychology, biomimicry, primitive skills, permaculture, and seeing how all things are interconnected.  She enjoys networking and being in nature.

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Abby Lee

Abby comes with a great passion for connecting children to healthy food and nature.  She and her daughter attended Grow La Crosse's Inspired Little Hands on the Farm last year.  Abby has experience with nonprofits and fundraising.

 
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Annie Berendes

Annie loves to garden at home and enjoys working with children. She wants to engage the community and enhance education through GROW. Annie is excited to be apart of this team and for the opportunity to learn from each other. 

 

Katie Wagoner. Photo by Pa Moua-Yang. University Communications.

Katie Wagoner

Katie is excited to be a part of GROW because GROW's work aligns well with her professional and personal interests. She has her bachelor's degree in nutrition and a master's degree in public health. Katie has been working in health education and nutrition education since 2004. In addition, Katie is excited to be a part of GROW because as a mom of two, she has seen first-hand the importance of teaching children where food comes from and what it takes for food to get to their plate.