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 held the Full Time Program Manager position since 2022. In this position, she works to ensure efficient BQLT operations and administrative systems. She works closely with the BQLT Board of Directors to connect with our multiple stakeholders (i.e. gardeners, project partners, funders, contractors, etc.). She implements several programs and manages administrative responsibilities for the organization. Out in the field, she is trained to do the biannual water system  turn-ons in spring and turn-offs in fall at our gardens with DEP water systems. Domica completed a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design at the City College of New York (CUNY) in May 2020. Domica 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.

Marina Carlstroem

Administrative Assistant

Marina started in the Administrative Assistant (PT) position in February 2023, after partnering with BQLT during the summer of 2022 as a New York University Gallatin Global Fellow in Urban Practice where she conducted research on community cohesion in garden spaces. She now supports BQLT with daily office operations like filing and outreach, as well as garden-focused projects including our annual monitoring surveys and our LTA Accreditation process. Marina graduated from NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study in May 2022 with a concentration in Politics, Performance and the Built Environment. She hails from Berkeley, California where her environmental educator parents fostered her love for the natural world very young.  In addition to her work with BQLT, Marina is a theatrical director who has recently directed plays at The Tank, Soho Playhouse and HERE Arts Center.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Damond Haynes

Board President (2024 )
Resource Board Member (2023 25)

Damond Haynes (he/him) is a Brooklyn-based educator and facilitator focusing on inclusion, intergenerational community building, and youth development. For the past 15 years he's worked with nonprofits and local government agencies to provide impactful direct service to their clients and staff of all levels and demographics. Before he began focusing on workshop facilitation, Damond was an Event/Program Coordinator for The New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. His intention is to use his experience to assist in carrying out BQLT's mission and to make meaningful community connections via our collective commitment to growing, gathering, and fun.

Racquel Forrester

Board Vice President (2023 )
Resource Board Member (2020 23)
Gardener Board Member (2023  26)

Racquel Forrester is an urbanist with a background in community development and urban planning. By day, Racquel is a civic engagement administrator and researcher at NYU where she promotes collaboration between academia and NYU's global community guided by principles of social justice, equity, co-creation, and sustainable urbanism. As a Brooklyn native, Racquel's pursuits are centered around empowering New Yorkers. She's contributed to resident resilience by implementing economic development programs, advocating for community input in land use, and organizing community resilience post hurricane Sandy. Racquel has also consulted with CBOs in organizational development and capacity building. Racquel has a Bachelor’s from Rutgers University and a Master’s in Urban Planning from Hunter College.  She is a garden member at Heaven's Gate Garden.

Kate Gehring

Board Secretary (2024 – )
Gardener Board Member (2021 – 25)

Kate believes deeply in the BQLT’s mission, and in its gardens and gardeners.  She hopes to use her own experience as a lawyer, journalist, organizer - and garden member - to support the BQLT and its gardens as places of connection, equity, and joy. She is 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.  They are doing this at the Greene Garden, where she is a member -- nurturing the garden and its community with the aim of being inclusive, diverse, and welcoming.

Gabriella Chinea

Resource Board Member (2023 25)

Gabby lives in Astoria and is passionate about protecting green space, bringing people together, and allocating resources to those who need it.  She works as a Project Coordinator for Central Park Conservancy, where she's learned the power and importance of preservation, sustainability, and creating the best environment for the people of NYC.  Gabby hopes to use her experience and skill set to protect and enhance BQLT gardens and the communities they serve.  She is a member of the Communications, Property Management, and Nominations committees.  Gabby will start working toward her Master of Urban Planning at Hunter College this fall.


Ashley Cruce

Gardener Board Member (2021 25)

Since 2014, 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, 2021-22). 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, Master Composter and Citizen Pruner, 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. She is the Co-Chair of the Tree Committee and serves on 3 BQLT Committees (Communications, Grants & Operations).

Tiffany Dixon

Gardener Board Member (2024 26)

Tiffany is a lifelong advocate for developing sustainable food systems. Raised by a family of farmers from Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica, she’s always had a passion for food. Post-undergraduate, she served as Food Systems fellow for the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation, where she honed her abilities to execute research and development initiatives at Camden Street Learning Garden and Interfaith Food Shuttle, both North Carolina nonprofits with missions to combat food inequality. Tiffany’s journey led her to graduate school at NYU for Food Studies, where her focus spanned researching urban food challenges, entrepreneurship, and digital communication. Tiffany now serves as a Digital Media and Development Strategist, supporting non-profits to amplify their impact. She compliments her skill sets by taking a hands-on approach to community building and volunteering. She serves as St. John’s Renaissance Garden rep and has led its continued revival. She collaborates with food systems experts, donors, and government officials, all which she aspires to utilize in service to BQLT’s Board.


Suzanne Hurley

Gardener Board Member (2021 25)

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 board 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.

Maya Kutz

Resource Board Member (2024 26)

Maya (she/they) is a young urban farmer born and raised in Brooklyn. With a degree in engineering and a passion for sustainability, she's had a fruitful career so far: gardening, farming, and running hydroponic operations around NYC, most recently at Brooklyn Grange. Maya is a well-rounded plant nerd, and she loves geeking out about plants (transpiration is so cool) and trading tips with fellow gardeners. As a resource board member, she is excited to pitch in with building infrastructure projects in the gardens, learn some non-profit bookkeeping, and help to maintain this wonderful organization. Growing our own food in our shared greenspaces is a powerful way to live joyfully and in resistance to the dominant food system.


Curtis Flowers

Gardener Board Member (2020 26)

Curtis Flowers is a writer and editor who works in educational publishing. He 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.

Courtney Morgan

Resource Board Member (2024 26)

Courtney is an artist, storyteller, and design strategist of Jamaican descent, whose work redistributes power by using art and design as a social practice. Courtney's interest in plants began in her childhood home that was overflowing with plants indoors and outdoors. Her passion for plants transformed into an environmental practice that centers community voice, youth perspectives and helping organizations develop ways to thrive alongside nature. Courtney is the owner and President of a design strategy firm SCRD and is a professor of Design Strategies at Parsons School of Design.


Dee Perry

Gardener Board Member (2024 26)

Dee (she/they) is a community organizer, researcher, and BQLT gardener at large who works with Q Gardens, Rogers/Tilden/Veronica Place Garden, and Northside Community Garden, among others. Dee spent ten years as a manager of youth informal science educators in the Bay Area, CA before moving to North Brooklyn in 2022. Beginning with her MA program at NYU, Dee researches democratic community learning toward climate justice and resilience in cities and neighborhoods. Working and learning with BQLT since early 2023, Dee collaborates with gardeners to collect surveys, conduct interviews, make maps, and write about findings from that work. These same collaborations aim to build a shared understanding of the diverse approaches taken by BQLT gardens while consulting on best practices. Dee continues to serve gardeners using her varied experiences in non-profits, educational spaces, and NYC community gardens to support BQLT’s capacity-building and collective learning efforts.

Natalia Sucre

Gardener Board Member (2024 26)

Natalia is a librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library, an educator, and a community composter and gardener in Brooklyn. For nearly fifteen years, Natalia has actively participated in local grassroots food and environmental justice initiatives including the Flatbush Farm Share CSA, Compost for Brooklyn, Sustainable Flatbush, and Q Gardens. A co-founder of Q Gardens, Natalia has served as co-general coordinator and lead compost coordinator since the garden opened. Having grown up in densely urban areas (Pittsburgh; Caracas, Venezuela), she finds the world of community gardening to be a constant revelation. That learning, sharing environment inspired her to become a Master Composter, citizen pruner, and graduate of the BBG Horticulture program and the soil start farm apprenticeship at Earth Matter. Natalia believes in the power of community gardens to foster mutual support between people who might otherwise never speak and to cultivate positive community action. Natalia deeply appreciates BQLT’s stewardship of garden communities and is happy to apply her grant writing, programming, teaching, and community organizing experience to BQLT’s work.


Sandra Watanabe

Gardener Board Member (2022 26)

Sandra loves community gardening for its ability to unite diverse people as well as its vital role in making our city more equitable, resilient, and sustainable. She has been an active community gardener at BQLT’s Hollenback Community Garden as well as two other Brooklyn gardens for many years. As Chair of Grants and a member of the Operations and Property Management Committees, she has raised funds for, managed, and executed numerous BQLT garden infrastructure projects and workshops.

She became a Master Composter through the NYC Compost Project, completed the BQLT Citizen Pruner course partnered with Trees New York, and serves as a NYC Parks Super Steward: Care Captain. She is on the Steering Committee for Green Guerillas' Council of Gardeners (2024), currently works as a Zero Waste and Events Consultant to Earth Matter NY, and participates in Earth Matter's Heritage Bed Project representing Japan. In 2014 she thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and is a 2000 Miler.

Jeanette Waters

Gardener Board Member (2023 25)

Jeanette is currently involved with Greene Garden. She has been working to improve and beautify the Garden with the help of community members. She has created numerous special events for the community and implemented structures for and with members that allow them to work in teams that hold their interest. She is always looking for creative ways and ideas to sustain the neighborhood garden in a welcoming environment so it will continue to strive. Jeanette is an independent artist. She serves as the makeup artist for the St. Paul Community Baptist Church, where she has taken a leading role on the production team for more than 15 MAAFA dramatizations. Currently a part of the INCARN Ministry, Jeanette is the resident makeup artist at Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, where she has worked on various projects/presentations. 

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 (20102014), 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 Ashley Cruce
Events, chaired by Damond Haynes
Executive, chaired by Damond Hayes
Finance, chaired by Jeanette Waters and Suzanne Hurley
Garden Operations, chaired by Dee Perry
Grants, chaired by Sandra Watanabe
Nominations, chaired by Meg Fellerath
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