Audrey Fusco has followed her passion for land stewardship and gardening around the globe. Whether researching urban gardens used to grow food, called organiponicos, in Cuba, helping to restore beaches in Florida, or restoring Redwood Creek watershed to protect coho salmon habitat at at Green Gulch Farms, Audrey stays true to her core belief to live a simple life in alignment with nature. Now, SPAWN is excited to welcome Audrey to our team as our Native Plant Nursery Manager.
“My work with SPAWN is an accumulation of everything that I have wanted to do,” she said. “It is exciting to take on the project that has already been given a lot of love by volunteers and our community. I feel very fortunate to be the person that helps connect everyone to this volunteer-based nursery.”
Audrey has always loved wildlife, gardening, and restoration. As a child, she loved to play outside in the wide fields of Kansas. She had a lot of curiosity about the world and decided to travel upon completion of college. In the Galapagos Islands, Audrey volunteered with the organization Jatun Satcha, working on a restoration project on San Cristobal Island and helping to set up a native plant nursery to preserve the endemic species. At this time, Audrey realized her call to work with gardening.
She went on to graduate school at University of Kansas to focus on geography. Her thesis work investigated the educational programs used in Cuba’s conversion from large-scale industrial agriculture to small-scale agriculture during the 1990’s. After extensive travel through South America, she returned to work with a native plant nursery and beach restoration in Sanibel, Florida. At this time, she read the book ‘Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants,’ by Doug Tallamy, and became increasingly fascinated with how our individual actions, like planting a native plant garden in our homes, can positively impact wildlife populations.
She explained that here in Marin, residents can help keep our creek systems intact and stabilize our stream banks by planting native grasses and small shrubs. These individual actions add up and help create a healthy Lagunitas Creek Watershed for species like the endangered coho salmon.
Audrey is also excited about the ability to help with large-scale projects like our 10,000 Redwoods Project. The goal is to grow 10,000 redwoods in the Bay Area, involving the community and volunteers, and ultimately creating a connected, healthy forest. “There is such enthusiasm and excitement when caring for our redwoods. It feels like a special privilege. They are tiny right now, and will make an impact not only on this area but also on the whole world, really…” she says, noting the big trees ability to adsorb large amounts of greenhouse gases.
Stop by our native plant nursery workdays on Friday from 10 am- 2 pm and get to know Audrey. Chat with her about her hobbies – meditation, yoga, hiking, and traveling – while caring for plants. All are welcome and no experience is necessary.
As Audrey says, “It is an amazing nursery that is volunteer-based. One person can’t run it alone. It thrives because volunteers are willing to come connect with the land and help restore our watershed.”
If you have ideas or would like to get involved please email Audrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.