About Us

About Us

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

Our non-profit organization takes pride in curating ecological experiences for everyone. On a mission to provide creative solutions for thriving on planet earth, we believe everyone should have access to the tools, knowledge, and skills that promote healthy communities and 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.

Water

WATER

Simple solutions to cut our daily water use in half.

Empowering students, their families, and their communities to become advocates for water conservation.

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 and 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
Aly Muysenberg

Program & Volunteer Coordinator

Anna Maria Desipris

Events Manager

Bret Babos

Director of Operations

Carter Wallace

Farm Manager

Chelsea Huddleston

Road Trip Programs Manager

Debbie Hansen

Bookkeeper

Grace Blacksea

Marketing Manager

Heather Disher

Grants Manager

Jonathan Zaidman

Director of Replication

Katie Hibbard

Road Trip Crew

Kristi Day

Graphic Designer

Michelle Rais

Tools For Change

Natalie Balthrop

Director of Brand and Communications

The Ecology Center
Rebecca Noble

Farm Stand Manager

The Ecology Center
Stephen Allison

Facilites Manager

The Ecology Center
Summer Kerr

CSA Coordinator

Other Contributors
Andrew Sieger

Architecture

Camille Compean

Garden Support

David Marks

Tools for Change

David Rager

Design

Kristin Morrison

Handmade: A Maker's Market

Manuella Melchert

Garden Design

Natale Lessey

Grants

Nereo Zago

Art Director

Vicki Marks

Green Feast Chair

Farm Store Staff
The Ecology Center
Danaan Wilson

The Ecology Center
Guadalupe Avila

The Ecology Center
Allison Devlin

The Ecology Center
Sage Burgess

The Ecology Center
Catherine Parker

The Ecology Center
Sara French-Saavedra

The Ecology Center
Kati Johnson

Board of Directors
Ann Shea

Board Member
Sustainable Agriculture Advocate

Ben Edwards

Board Member
Sustainability Consultant

Caitlin Wege

Board Member
Angel Investor and Philanthropist

Eric Paine

Board Treasurer
Principal, Community Development Partners

Jennifer Sherman

GM, Chef, Chez Panisse

Joe Baird

Board Member
CEO, Rumiano

Laura Donovan

Board Secretary

Mark Magiera

Board Member
Operations, Chez Panisse

Rick Bolton

Board Chairman
Brand & Business Strategist