Meet The Greenhouse Project Team
At its heart, The Greenhouse Project is a vibrant community of volunteers, board members, and staff who are each dedicated to making the world a better place – starting in their own backyard. We continually welcome new people into The Greenhouse Project “family”! If you are interesting in joining us, please get in touch!
Our management staff consists of and Executive Director and a part-time Program Director.
Jane Risse, Executive Director and Greenhouse Manager
Jane Risse is the Founder, Executive Director, and Greenhouse Manager of The Greenhouse Project. Her passion is to educate the public about gardening and the importance of locally grown, nutrient-rich food for growing healthy people and a healthy planet.
Jane began vegetable gardening with father, which grew into a passion for helping to create a green, diverse and healthy community. With a love of nature and especially for urban gardening, Jane advocates for a prolific local food system. Jane is a current executive board member of the Food Policy Council in Lackawanna County and is a certified Master Gardener through the Pennsylvania State Cooperative Extension since 2009. Jane received Jane received training in passive solar-heated greenhouses, small plot intensive, (SPIN) Square Foot Gardening, and Urban Farming. Volunteering in Barbados for Future Centre Trust, a model of urban farm sustainable practices, sparked her interest in a sustainable food movement. As a manager of Laurieâ€™s Community Garden in Scranton, she discovered the rich possibilities of what a â€œcommunityâ€ garden can do for a neighborhood. She lives and gardens in Scranton, PA.
Kimberly Crafton, Program Director
For over 20 years, Kimberly has been a respected leader in cultural projects and tourism/hospitality administration – with special talent in event management, public speaking, public and media relations, community outreach, print and digital design. Known for creating cultural connections and innovative partnerships, her focus is always on connecting people to their forgotten histories, to their ancestors, their neighbors, their communities, their world.
Founder of Crafton Cultural Management, she has worked on both local and national-level projects, with a long list of organizations that include The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Institute of Museum & Library Studies, The Pennsylvania Historic & Museum Commission, The Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and more.
Extremely proud to play a small part in The Greenhouse Project, Kimberly lives and works in both the US and in various countries throughout Europe, watching and listening for what each place has been waiting to tell her.
Some of our many Community Advisors
Tara Rosencrance Atkins
Board Executive Team
The Greenhouse Project's Executive Team for 2022
Ann Boland, President
“After retiring from the healthcare insurance industry field, I decided to join the Greenhouse Project volunteer corp when I saw the great work that was being accomplished by the group – bringing the community together through healthy eating education, yoga and strength training classes, community gardening and plant based education for the youths in our area. I was first introduced to The Greenhouse Project volunteers at a volunteer appreciation event. I was struck by all these great souls who, although they have volunteered for numerous events, may never have met. Yet, there they all were standing around talking like they’ve known one another forever. A kindred soul vibe permeated the day and I wanted to be part of that.
I was proud to have taken the next step to become a member of the Board of Directors – and now am honored to be leading this volunteer board. I look forward to playing an even larger role in continuing to volunteer for this worthy cause as it is an essential part of growing our community spirit, not to mention our own continued personal growth.”
Richard Krebs, Vice President
“Wellness is the 21st century mantra for total health, vigor, and happiness. Wellness is at the heart of The Greenhouse Projectâ€™s mission. The Greenhouse Projectâ€™s goal to educate the Community in wholesome food priorities, healthy living initiatives, and disease prevention through diet, and active lifestyle is why I joined their Board. The Greenhouse Project also manages two Community Gardens where people learn to grow quality foodstuffs, and get a sense of Community. The Greenhouse Project is a great place to get green and start your wellness program!”
Linda Hair, Treasurer
“I have been a volunteer and supporter of The Greenhouse Project since itâ€™s very humble beginning at Laurieâ€™s Community Garden. Initially I got involved to help my best friend, Jane. I am not a gardener and admittedly do not do well with plants, but I do enjoy helping to harvest what is planted! Watching this non-profit grow into such a well-rounded program that has a far reach has been a pleasure.
I have stayed involved (they do still keep me away from the plants 🙂 and have helped at many fundraisers over the years. I love what the Greenhouse Project does for our community. I have participated in yoga and some exercise classes. I was there when a little boy got his own bicycle from the Community Bike Recycle program – I can still see the smile on his face! When I was asked to serve on the Board, and to subsequently serve as Treasurer, it was always a very easy â€œyesâ€ for me. Iâ€™m honored and proud to be a part of The Greenhouse Project!”
Joanne McDonald, Secretary
“It was during the pandemic when things were trying to get back to some normalcy that I started volunteering. I had taken yoga at the Greenhouse in the past and loved the calm, serene atmosphere. After volunteering a few times and meeting many of the other volunteers, I decided that volunteering was something I could put my skills to work while meeting new people. I was asked on multiple occasions if I would join the Board and finally agreed to serve our community with this additional step – and I am now happy to serve on the executive committee. The added bonus is that I am learning many things along the way about plants, vegetables, and even some art lessons.“
And the rest of our dedicated, volunteer Board of Directors - meet them here!
As a recent board member, I’m very excited to work with this group to strengthen relationships within our community and let people know how important it is to grow your own food, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and help grow your community by supporting local organizations. I discovered the Greenhouse Project through social media and noticed they were looking for volunteers to help clean up around the greenhouse in Nay Aug Park. I was introduced to an amazing staff and learned about the Greenhouse Project and their mission.
The greenhouse is a special place for me. I find volunteering with like-minded people in the greenhouse and being educated on the growth process and benefits of herbs, vegetables, flowers and plants extremely beneficial to my health and mental state of mind. My horticulture skills improve every time I volunteer or attend a class.
As a founding board member, I love and and proud to help guide the Greenhouse Project because we literally plant the seeds to grow plants – while at the same time sowing the seeds to bring people together through local collaborations. The Greenhouse Project is a uniter of natural resources to a healthier lifestyle, meeting people where they are at on their own individual journeys. Our specialty is creating connections through various inclusive and interactive experiences, which in turn lead to healthier, sustainable communities!
“Being part of this non-profit has enabled me to engage with lots of plant loving people and make some good friends. I believe in our mission statement and what we provide to the area in the way of classes and organic plants for your garden (which are not easy to find locally!). A lot of people have come to rely on the services we provide and we get great feedback from the participants. We are also a vital part of Nay Aug Park, providing ongoing events and a public space for area residents. Our community gardens are another great neighborhood space – I love hearing how having a space to garden and be part of a community garden has enriched peoples lives. I love being on this board because I get to help make The Greenhouse Project better and better. I love working with our Partner Organizations. Being on the board, even serving as a term as President, has really opened my eyes to how a non-profit functions, both internally and in the community, and the tough decisions that need to be made even in a pandemic.”
James Hailstone, Esq.
Of Kreder, Brooks & Hailstone, Scranton PA.
“I came as a volunteer to The Greenhouse Project, thinking I knew some things about flowers and greenery. I soon found I knew very little about either of those things! But I met the wonderful Jane Risse and the incredible variety of people who work with her. I found the individuals involved to be friendly, environmentally aware and just an amazing group. I loved every minute I spent there and wanted to be a part of this fabulous, community oriented group. It is my honor to now serve as a volunteer board member to help be a part of The Greenhouse Project’s continued growth and service to our community.“
“As a lifelong environmentalist, I am a grateful and always-learning member of the board of The Greenhouse Project. With a passion for recycling and buying local, I find this little organization brings the best of these worlds together by highlighting the enormous and sometimes lost value of fresh local food and neighborhood gardens. Both of these things bring rich benefits to our local community, providing us great tasting food, personal well-being, and a reduction in our carbon footprint – all while supporting and caring for our neighbors. This is an important part of what the Greenhouse Project does – and why I chose to become a board member.”
“My being and wanting to become a member on the Board of The Greenhouse Project was a natural progression. At the very beginning, it was more or less a shoe string operation, and I started initially, by donating – cast off plants to the Project, which, then lead to volunteering, for many years. Seeing their progression, from a small green house selling plants, to something bigger that is now an essential part of our community, made we want to contribute in a more meaningful way than just as a volunteer. I am proud and excited to be a part of The Greenhouse Projectâ€™s continued evolution.”
“I volunteer as a board member because I really enjoy giving back to our community. I believe in the programs that the Greenhouse Project offers, especially the community gardens which help families grow their own food. I also think that the The Honeybee & Harvest Day Parade and is a magical event in Nay Aug Park and enjoy working there for the day. We are growing a healthier community and I am always happy to do my part.”
“My journey with The Greenhouse Project started many years ago. I have known and been friends and coworkers of the Risse family for over 25 years. 18 years ago I began a position as the Recreation Specialist/Grants Manager/Special Events Coordinator for the City of Scranton in the Parks Department. I worked on and wrote most of the grants that installed new amenities within Nay Aug Park and helped to create 2 city parks during my tenure. One of those grants was to bring the former Cleland Greenhouse back to life, as it was a deteriorating, unusable space with the historic main building, and a greenhouse portion that no longer had a framework or glass to support growing or programming. I was successful in working with and having Walmart Corporation Community Giving Grant Program see the vision that the building could accomplish, and they awarded the park $100,000 to purchase and install the present McNulty Greenhouse. We built it as it stands today.
“I enjoy participating in The Greenhouseâ€™s many educational and health programs. Weekly yoga classes are my personal favorite, which are taught by certified instructors. Last year I started my own garden bed plot at one of the two Greenhouse Project community gardens. It was a joy growing my own food as well as tall, beautiful sunflowers. Having the opportunity to purchase plants, grown at the greenhouse at the beginning of the season, ensured my garden plants were great quality and organic. As an art instructor, I am grateful and honored to give back to the community by teaching art classes at the Greenhouse Project to adults and senior populations. The students of these beginner art classes are enthusiastic and open to new ideas. It is a delightful experience. And the Greenhouse is always full of wonderful, friendly volunteer staff!!”