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Nov 25

Welcome Our New Harvest Pierce County Program Specialist!

Posted on November 25, 2015 at 1:54 PM by Allan Warren

Renee MeschiRenee Meschi joined the District as a Harvest Pierce County Program Specialist in August, returning for the second time after completing AmeriCorps Summer VISTA service with Harvest Pierce County in 2013. Now, Renee will be focusing on the Gleaning Project, as well as supporting Harvest Pierce County as it broadens its definition of a community garden, including food forests, edible landscaping, and other community-managed green spaces.

Renee has both studied and worked in ecotourism at three different butterfly gardens: one in Montezuma, Costa Rica, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. She was also a research intern for the Wild Dolphin Project, observing the communication and social systems of spotted dolphins in their natural habitat. All of these experiences helped Renee develop an interest in reconnecting humans to nature.

Renee is a recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound, and her research centered on the human stories behind the different plants and mushrooms that make up the landscape in our watershed. The Swan Creek Park Food Forest, Tacoma’s first agroforestry project, was the focus of her interdisciplinary studies, providing a living library of natural history.

Human connections to plants are almost always via food or medicine, and agroforestry, gardening, and farming are some of the most direct ways in which we still connect with the natural world. Passionate about finding the intersection between ecological and social justice, Renee sees capturing waste while providing fresh, healthy food for our local community as a living example of this intersection, and is excited to begin working with the District and Harvest Pierce County to build healthy food systems, and a healthy environment.