Conrad Crawford, Executive Director, Interim

(conrad@groundworksomerville.org)

Conrad Crawford joined Groundwork in 2017.  As a longtime Somerville and Cambridge resident, past substitute teacher for the Somerville School system, and former AmeriCorps member at the Somerville Community Corporation, contributing to Groundwork Somerville is a wonderful way to inhabit the region he calls home.

Most recently, he worked as an executive at the Trustees of Reservations, where he helped launch the Boston Public Market, and as a senior manager at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, where he was responsible for agency policies and relations with the many dozens of external non-profit, corporate and institutional partners. Conrad has almost two decades in public service, starting as an AmeriCorps member, then serving in the Massachusetts State Senate, going on to working at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and finally as an appointee in the Deval Patrick Administration at the Executive Office of Transportation (now MassDOT) and DCR.  As an advocate and public organizer, he has also staffed and consulted for numerous local, statewide and federal electoral campaigns across the country.  His current community service includes volunteering on the boards of the Somerville Homeless Coalition, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority.

 

Jess Bloomer, Deputy Director and Farm Manager
(jess@groundworksomerville.org)

Jess joined Groundwork Somerville in January of 2015.  A native of Colorado, Jess has spent more than a decade finding ways to grow food in a variety of inspiring settings. As the Program Director and Garden Educator with Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, she honed her skills and passion for hands-on teaching, urban gardening, and nonprofit visioning. That work, along with work at the Cultiva Youth Project, Farm and Wilderness Camp, and the Thorne Natural Science School cemented her belief that food connects us all, and the process of growing and eating fresh local food can be an entrance point for teaching just about anything. Jess holds a Permaculture Design Certificate and a BA in International Development Studies, with a focus on community development. In free moments, she likes to explore near and far by foot, boat, ski, and train. She is excited to expand her love of urban farming within the vibrant Somerville community.

 

Rae Axner, Green Team Coordinator
(rae@groundworksomerville.org)

Rae came to Groundwork Somerville in 2017, excited to work alongside Somerville youth towards environmental, racial, economic, and food justice. She graduated from Somerville High in 2010 and from Tufts in 2014 with a BA in Community Health and American Studies. Rae brings experience in farming and food justice from The Food Project and Waltham Fields Community Farm; in workers’ rights organizing from the Tufts Labor Coalition and MassCOSH; and in housing advocacy from the Community Action Agency of Somerville. Rae is thrilled to be working in her own community and looks forward to growing food, building youth power, and pursuing environmental and health equity with the Green Team. Outside of work, Rae cooks garlic-heavy meals with her roommates, seeks out lakes and beaches, and laughs as much as possible.

 

Eli Bloch, MassLIFT Americorps Youth Education Coordinator
(eli@groundworksomerville.org)
Eli joined Groundwork Somerville as a Masslift-Americorps member in September 2016. Eli grew up in the Boston area, and is a recent graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst.  Before coming to Groundwork, Eli has worked as a camp counselor at Farm and Wilderness, as a farmer in New Hampshire, and at the UMASS Student Farm. In his spare time Eli enjoys playing basketball, hiking, gardening, and most of all eating something good.

 

 

Gayathri Arumugham, Grant Writer
(gaya@groundworksomerville.org)

(null)Gaya joined Groundwork Somerville in September of 2015. She has a deep passion for working with small, community based organizations.  Her work experience includes grant writing, developing educational programs for youth and adults, teaching and performing Bharatha Natyam dance, and being a Park Ranger on the Boston Harbor Islands.  She has a BA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MPA from NYU.  Gaya loves spending time on the beach year round, collecting sea glass, and going hiking with her dog!

 

ClayPicClay Larsen, Project Manager & Landscape Design
(clay@groundworksomerville.org)

Clay is a landscape designer, builder, project manager and teacher who brings over 30 years experience to his work. Working within the cities of Malden, Somerville and Lawrence for the Groundwork organization, Clay has both lead and been part of a team in developing cutting edge urban agriculture projects in Eastern Mass. Clay lead the development of Malden’s first community garden along Malden’s segment of the “Northern Strand.” He is the project manager for “Bike to the Sea,” a nonprofit advocacy group, working to develop the Northern Strand Community Trail and promote bicycle&pedestrian safety, as well as alternative transportation opportunities north of Boston. Clay enjoys cooking, biking, and cross country skiing!

 

 

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