Staff

Alex-and-chicken-500px

Alexandra Lennon-Simon

Executive Director

Alex joins Groundwork Somerville after years of work in youth development and urban agriculture. A native city kid born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Alex grew up visiting to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and later continued working there as an educator, passionately connecting city youth to the natural world. Also near and dear to Alex’s heart are issues of social and racial justice--she graduated from Bard College with a BA in American Studies and Studies in Race & Ethnicity, with a specific focus on racial and class-based inequities. Alex previously worked as the Education Director at Waltham Fields Community Farm, expanding the education programs and running a mobile market for low-income Waltham families. Alex is overjoyed to join the Groundwork Somerville team! Outside of work, Alex keeps two beehives, enjoys hiking and camping with her two dogs, embroidery, gardening, and live theater.

Emily

Emily Reckard-Mota

Food and Farms Manager and Educator

Emily comes to Groundwork Somerville with a diverse background in education and sustainable agriculture. She discovered the world of sustainable agriculture during her gap year, while volunteering on a WWOOF farm in Peru. Originally from North Carolina, she graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. During college, Emily worked at Transplanting Traditions Community Farm, where she supported refugee farmers in growing and selling vegetables from Myanmar. Emily has taught cooking and gardening education to young people at the NC Botanical Gardens, Mundo Verde PCS in Washington, D.C., and most recently at various Boston Public Schools with Green City Growers.

Emily loves being barefoot outside and values the ways that growing food deepens her faith and connection to God. She is passionate about fighting against racism in our food system, and has learned a lot from Soul Fire Farm and The Food Project. Out of a desire to connect her faith to her work, Emily strives to keep justice and mercy at the center of her farming practices. In her free time, Emily enjoys making nature mandalas, reading, and hiking with friends.

Juliana Soltys

School Gardens Manager

Juliana joins Groundwork with a diverse background in community-centered design, education, and sustainable farming. She discovered her love for growing as a child helping care for community plots while living in California. Juliana recently graduated from RISD with a Master’s degree in Industrial Design. Her thesis work focused on the intersection of reintegration and agriculture, where she worked with the nonprofit Garden Time to expand reentry gardening programming. In addition, she is passionate about racial justice, grassroots initiatives, and working with youth. While living in Providence, Juliana worked with the Groundwork RI Green Team as a part of the Maharam Fellowship, facilitating youth-led environmental design projects. She is excited to continue similar work in Somerville to grow a more equitable food system. In her free time, Juliana enjoys hiking with her dog, cooking new recipes, and anything arts-related.

Soltys_GWS_website

Green Team

Green Team Members are Groundwork Somerville employees and the main workforce behind our food production at South Street Farm. They also help care for our school gardens, lead projects to better our community, and generally work to make Somerville a cleaner, greener, healthier, and more equitable city.  Read more about the Green Team here.

Green Team
Green Team