The Mission of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center is to connect and motivate students and families from diverse backgrounds through organic gardening, environmental stewardship, and nutrition education, empowering them to be healthy and active citizens. Our Vision is to reconnect students and families to the natural environment through food, education and community engagement.
HEALY VIGDERSON — EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Healy Vigderson is the Executive Director of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center. Healy comes to us from the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County, serving most recently as Assistant Director, where she oversaw education and outreach programs designed to support families with chronic health conditions. She also managed creative fundraising events and led an advocacy team on legislative issues at the State Capitol. Healy has a background in Ecology and worked in North Central Chile on Desertification projects near the Atacama Desert. In the San Diego Unified School District, Healy was a bilingual educator who taught middle school Life Science and developed a hands-on Science lab for a K-6 elementary school. She is excited to bring all of her skills and passions together to serve the community here at Olivewood Gardens. A native San Diegan, Healy enjoys the outdoors and spends her free time in the ocean or mountains.
Diana Bergman – Program Director
Martha Prusinskas – Head Gardener
Martha Prusinskas, former head gardener for the Walton family, has cultivated food on the property for over twenty years. She enjoys working with young people and transferring her wealth of knowledge to both students and volunteers.
ALLY WELBORN – VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
Ally Welborn is the Volunteer Coordinator at Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center. She has a BS in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from UC San Diego. Before coming to Olivewood, Ally worked as an educator at the San Diego Humane Society and as an improv comedy instructor at UCSD. She is passionate about non-profits and has been involved at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, the YMCA of San Diego County, and the San Diego River Park Foundation. Ally enjoys travelling internationally and exploring natural environments all over the world.
Kati Butler – Chef Educator
Kati Butler is the Chef Educator at Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center. She has a BS in both Early Childhood Education and Human Development and Family Studies, as well as an MS in Literacy Education, K-12. After teaching middle school for five years in New York, Kati decided to travel west and make her home in San Diego. After her first volunteer experience at Olivewood Gardens in June 2010, Kati was instantly hooked. She had found a place to integrate her passion for teaching with her love of cooking. When she is not creating recipes highlighting the fruits and vegetables grown at Olivewood Gardens, Kati can be found baking sweets and watching sports.
Joyce Robinson – Office Administrator
Pilar Arballo – Community Engagement Coordinator
Pilar Arballo is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center. Pilar comes to OWG with experience in education and community outreach. She has coached pre-school teachers, taught elementary, junior high and high school, and adult ESL. Additionally, she has worked with non-profits engaging residents in various neighborhoods throughout National City, Central and South San Diego, and Chula Vista. Pilar is an SDSU alumnus and has a B.A. in Spanish and Political Science, with a focus on Latin America, as well as an M.A. in Education. Pilar was born in Ensenada, Mexico, has lived in San Diego and Los Angeles, CA, and in Madrid, Spain. She enjoys learning about different cultures and has travelled throughout Europe, Canada, the US, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil. Pilar is excited and honored to be part of the OWG team. She is passionate about empowering parents and young adults and promoting healthy life styles.
Adan Teposte – Gardener
Diego Duran – Gardener/Field Instructor
Charles Anacker – Gardener/Field Instructor
This is the coolest place because you get to see what your food looks like coming out of the grounds. I see pictures in my textbook but this is the first time I have ever seen purple kale grow.
~Megan Knight, 2nd year culinary student at the International Culinary School from the Art Institute