About Us

About Us

The Ecology Center believes in a culture that gives more than it takes.

Our non-profit organization models creative solutions for thriving on planet earth. We believe everyone should have access to the tools, knowledge, and skills that promote healthy communities in the 21st century. We design spaces that inspire interaction with our ecosystem and transform our relationship with each other.

Let’s dig in and build an abundant future for all. Together, we can inspire change!

 

Our Initiatives

We highlight cutting-edge environmental perspectives through our four core initiatives.

Grow

Grow

Thriving ecosystems nourish our community

Creating gardens, resources, and community to make vibrant spaces out of vacant places.

Eat

Eat

Building pathways to an ecological food future

Gathering chefs, farmers, and community together to eat with intention.

Make

MAKE

Supporting local artisans and modeling a modern village

Creating pathways for more conscious consumption by building a vibrant local economy.

Our Home

The Ecology Center’s headquarters is located in the historic Congdon Farmhouse in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

From an empty dirt lot, we have created an ecological oasis. Our home is a model for how every home can be reimagined and every space revived.

Having witnessed more than 130 years of social, agricultural, and environmental change, the Congdon House is the perfect venue for an exploration of the links between past, present, and future. At the same time, as one of the oldest standing embodiments of the past, it serves to remind us that we must act today to rejuvenate the environment for the generations to follow.

Our Team

Evan Marks

Executive Director

With his background in permaculture and agroecology, and, having worked extensively in California, Hawaii, and internationally in Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, Ghana and Nigeria, Evan Marks knows that people have the ability to directly impact the environment through individual change.

Staff
Jonathan Zaidman

Director of Replication, Development & Impact

Bret Babos

Director of Operations

Johnny Wilson

Farm Director

Kat Reynolds

Director of Community Engagement

Stephen Allison

Facilites Manager

Debbie Hansen

Bookkeeper

Heather Disher

Grants Manager

Nereo Zago

Art Director

Katie Hibbard

Design

Amanda Mahaffey

Volunteer & Experiences Coordinator

Summer Kerr

Farm Share Coordinator

Guadalupe Avila

Farm Stand Staff

Andrew Sieger

Architecture

Lauren Stanko

Garden Coordinator

Fransisco Galmich

Facilities

Gregory Foster

Lead Educator

Colleen Culhane

Lead Educator

Board of Directors
Joe Baird

Board Chair
CEO, Rumiano

Ann Shea

Board Member
Sustainable Agriculture Advocate

Caitlin Wege

Board Member
Angel Investor and Philanthropist

Jennifer Sherman

GM, Co-Chef, Chez Panisse

Mark Magiera

Board Member
Operations, Chez Panisse

Sara Lowell

Marisla Foundation

Kaitrin Cooper

Cooper Spirits, Philanthropist

Advisors
Alice Waters

Chez Panisse

Ben Edwards

Sustainability Consultant

David Kennedy

Creative

Eric Paine

Principal, Community Development Partners

Glenn Roberts

Anson Mills

Jack Algiere

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Jason McCleod

Ironside Fish & Oyster

Manuel Toscano

Zago

Michael Besancon

Natural Foods Pioneer

Paddy Glennon

Culinary Liberation Front

Rich Mead

Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens

Rick Bolton

Brand & Business Strategist

Vicki Marks

Green Feast Chair