Community Activist, Gardener & Farmer
Since 1985 Karen has been a community activist, striving to make New York City a better place to live. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, Karen has worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens. As a member of La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, she helped launched a City Farms Market, bringing fresh vegetables to her neighbors. Karen is the Just Food board Chair and a Just Food Trainer, leading workshops on food growing and food justice to community gardeners all over the city. Karen is a Why Hunger board member and the former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, a group that was founded to protect and preserve community gardens. She co- founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings and has been key to Farm School NYC, whose mission is to train NYC residents in urban agriculture. In 2012 Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country. In 2014 she received the James Beard Leadership Award. Since retiring from Physical Therapy in 2014, Karen is Co-owner/Farmer at Rise & Root Farm in Chester NY.