BQLT Staff, Board, and Committees

STAFF

Domica Roberts

Program Manager

Domica Roberts joined BQLT as Program Associate in 2017, after interning with BQLT in 2016. She has always loved gardening and learned about food justice and advocacy, as well as how to grow her own food, through a youth program at East New York Farms. Domica completed a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design at the City College of New York (CUNY) in May 2020.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Steven Thomson

Board President (2021 - )
Gardener Board Member (2018 - 2024)

Steven Thomson is a member of the 1100 Block Bergen Street Garden in Crown Heights and advises cultural institutions, property owners, and urban planners on thoughtful community engagement and local government affairs. He previously served as Programs & Communications Manager at Brooklyn Historical Society and Van Alen Institute. His prior experience includes developing public engagement programming and communications for initiatives promoting equitable public space, climate change preparedness, and justice reform through urban design. He holds a graduate degree in urban studies from University College London, where his research focused on the intersection of gentrification, art, and activism.

Kelli Singleton

Board Vice President (2021 - )
Gardener Board Member (2020 - 24)

Kelli M. Singleton, MPA is an Accountable Care Organization Coordinator with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wherein she monitors compliance of services administered by health care facilities to Medicare Fee for Service beneficiaries. She is also a regional representative on several national policy and workgroups for Drug and Health Plans Operations. In her spare time, Kelli enjoys serving in her community as the Chairwoman of the Cambria Heights Civic Association, Co-Editor of the civic newsletter, and Founder/Treasurer of the Cambria Heights Toastmasters Club. She is well known for her leadership, partnership development, community relations, and grant writing abilities, particularly on behalf of the 227th Street Community Garden. While she presently serves as the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (and Green Thumb) Liaison for the community garden, she looks forward to expanding her work with the BQLT as a board member by partnering with other Queens based  gardens to facilitate their access to services, supplies, and assist them with community engagement. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from CUNY-York College and a Master of Public Administration degree, specializing in Health Policy and Management, from New York University-Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

Giselle King

Board Treasurer (2022 - )
Gardener Board Member (2021 - 23)

Giselle King, is a Trinidadian-American living and working in New York.  She is a dynamic actor and professional speaker, dedicated to representing diverse voices through her creative and community-based work. She is a gardener in the Central Bainbridge St. Community Garden. Giselle has a passion for projects that combine her knowledge and skills in health and the creative arts which are gleaned from her years of practicing the martial art-dance form of Capoeira alongside her work as a certified physical massage therapist. Giselle is one of fewer than 100 female firefighters in the 15,000+ strong Fire Department of New York. Giselle graduated near the top of her Fire Academy class.

Kate Gehring

Board Secretary (2022 - )
Gardener Board Member (2021 - 23)

I believe deeply in the BQLT’s mission, and in its gardens and gardeners.  I hope to use my own experience as a lawyer, journalist, organizer - and garden member - to support the BQLT and its gardens as places of connection, equity, and joy. I’m especially interested in how gardens can adapt to neighborhood changes while supporting founding communities and older residents, and can foster engagement and friendship among gardeners.  We are doing this at the Greene Garden, where I am a member -- nurturing the garden and its community with the aim of being inclusive, diverse, and welcoming.


Kwame Agyapon

Gardener Board Member (2021 - 23)

Bio coming soon!

Alonso Córdoba

Resource Board Member (2020 - 24)

Alonso Córdoba is an educator and a biologist who is a member of Q-Gardens Community Farm, in Flatbush, Brooklyn. He is an adjunct lecturer of biology at CUNY-Brooklyn College, where he has done research in the ecology of soil bacteria. This experience sparked an interest in composting, which in turn inspired him to join Q-Gardens and BQLT, and to collaborate with the NYC Urban Soils Institute. Alonso has seen the potential of community gardens to be a vehicle of scientific, especially environmental education, and community building, both of which are critical to achieve advancements in social justice and food security. His affiliation to BQLT is inspired by this principle, which will continue to guide his efforts in the future.


Ashley Cruce

Garden Board Member (2021 - 23)

Since 2015, Ashley Cruce has worked at Queens Botanical Garden as an Environmental Educator. She loves working with people of all ages, cultures, and abilities to promote gardening, composting, and connection to nature in urban Queens.  She has served as a Community Garden Consultant at Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House at Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City (2012-19, 2021). Ashley has been a BQLT garden member at McIntosh Neighborhood Assn. Garden since 2011, and served on the BQLT Board from 2013-15. As an experienced gardener,   educator, and certified Master Composter, she volunteers her time with local youth Green Teams, with JH-SCRAPS (a local community compost site), with her co-op's garden committee, and as a beekeeper's helper at the QBG Bee Garden.

Curtis Flowers

Garden Board Member (2020 - 24)

Curtis Flowers is a writer and editor who works in educational publishing and tends to his plants  at the Rogers Tilden Veronica Garden in Flatbush, Brooklyn. He’s interested in building camaraderie and working with others to make community gardens inviting and welcoming places where all New Yorkers can relax when they want to trade the chaotic pace of the city for surroundings with an abundance of the natural world to look at and learn from. He thinks the more we know about the living things around us, the more likely we are to care for and about them.


Racquel Forrester

Resource Board Member (2020 - 24)

Racquel Forrester is an urban planner and non-profit professional. In her work, Racquel elevates NYU’s scholarly strength by fostering collaboration and cultivating a community of urbanists. A Brooklyn native, Racquel spent the last 7 years advocating for low income New Yorkers. She’s implemented economic development programs that worked to preserve job-intensive land uses and provide career pathways in tech to young adults. She has organized resilience initiatives post Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn’s waterfront communities, with research published in “Prospects for Resilience: Insights from New York City’s Jamaica Bay.” Additionally, Racquel consults with nonprofits, aiding organizations on maximizing their impact, achieving their mission and training front line staff. Racquel has a Bachelor’s from Rutgers University and a Master’s in Urban Planning from Hunter College. She recently completed Columbia University’s Executive Education Program for Developing Leaders in nonprofits.

Matthias Helfen

Resource Board Member (2021 - 23)

Matthias Helfen is a community outreach planner with a background in food justice and urban food policy. Matthias uses inclusive Collective Impact methods to strengthen community stakeholder partnerships. As a southern transman, he prioritizes intersectional justice issues to bring together common goals and diverse players to strengthen community potential—which, coincidentally, is a great way to get to know one’s neighbors! He has worked in community-led agriculture abroad in Berlin and Greece, as well as in Louisiana and Colorado. Matthias looks forward to helping resource-build for all the amazing BQLT gardens.


Suzanne Hurley

Gardener Board Member (2021 - 23)

Suzanne Hurley grew up in Brooklyn, New York as part of a close-knit nuclear family. Attended Prospect Heights High School and Brooklyn College, graduated with a BA in Psychology. Suzanne’s love of Brooklyn and her Crown Heights community led to her involvement and leadership in several community organizations. However, she is most proud of being part of the initial group of children who worked in the 1100 Block Bergen Street Garden starting in 1980.

Suzanne’s work as a Vice President in the non-profit industry focuses on community building with Adult Literacy and Youth Enrichment Programs. Her love of gardening which she credits to her grandmother and mother remains foremost as she engages youth to develop eco-gardens in Harlem. In 2019 she spearheaded teams in planting flowers in 30 tree-wells on 125th street. The project brought joy to community members including the Borough President. As a member of Brooklyn Queens Land Trust Suzanne continues her mission of service in the community to ensure the conservation and preservation of open space, local heritage and culture.

Sandra Watanabe

Gardener Board Member (2022 - 24)

Bio Coming Soon!

Matthew Zebroski

Gardener Board Member (2022 - 24)

Matt Zebroski has been an active BQLT garden member for ten years. He has been running the compost program at the St Marks Ave/Prospect Heights Community Garden for almost ten years and has become a co-ambassador for that garden with Patti Hagan. He loves plants, people, and NYC. He has lead multiple projects and written grants that helped fund many projects for the BQLT and Green Guerillas. Some examples include the new gazebo at Padre Plaza in the South Bronx and a new compost system/rainwater harvest system at St Marks Ave/Prospect Heights Community Garden, as well as a project to develop and renovate the John the Baptist Community Garden into an ADA compliant space that helps people with physical and mental disabilities. He is extremely motivated by projects that help make communities better.

"I'm very good at getting the right people together to create beautiful things in a focused and organized manner. I love the BQLT. This organization is the reason that I have been able to become the gardener and community activist that I am today."



EMERITUS BOARD MEMBERS

Demetrice Mills

Board Member Emeritus

Demetrice Mills is a Business Information System Specialist who retired from JPMorgan Chase after 25 years of service. A member of BQLT since 2006, he has served as BQLT Treasurer, Secretary, and Board President (2010-2014), and has chaired BQLT’s operations committee for over 11 years. Demetrice participated in the rewrite of BQLT’s bylaws, constitution, and garden license agreement. In addition, he has served on BQLT’s communications, events, finance, and grants committees. In addition to his work with BQLT, Demetrice is a member of the NYC Clean Soil Bank, Cornell University Cooperative Extension Healthy Soil Advisory Committee, and Land Trust Alliance Ambassador Committee, as well as a board member of the Land Trust Alliance New York Advisory Board and the American Community Gardening Association.

Irene Van Slyke

Board Member Emeritus

Irene Van Slyke is a longtime environmental advocate and supporter. Since joining BQLT, she has served as BQLT Treasurer, Secretary, Co-Chair of the Bylaws & Garden License Agreement Committee, and maintained active involvement with the Finance, Grants, Events and Operations committees. Irene is a Sierra Club NYC Executive Group Committee member. For the past 40 years, she has been an active member of BQLT’s David Foulke Memorial Garden. She loves growing vegetables in the summer. Irene has been an active member and gardener in the community she lives, and loyal member of BQLT since its inception.





COMMITTEES

Communications, chaired by Kwame Agyapon
Events, chaired by
Executive, chaired by Steven Thomson
Finance, chaired by Giselle King
Garden Operations, co-chaired by Curtis Flowers and Alonso Cordoba
Grants, chaired by Matthias Helfen
Nominations, chaired by Princess Benn James
Property Management chaired by Racquel Forrester

To get involved, contact us:

Brooklyn Queens Land Trust
30 Third Avenue
Room 842
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(Located in the YWCA building)

718.963.7020

info@bqlt.org