Board of Directors
- Lois Eberhart
- Johnn Kelly
- Carol Kuechler
- Rachel Popken
- Bridget Rau
- Randy Rau
Joelle Van Gaalen
Becky Rice was hired as executive director in December 2007. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Finance and graduate work toward a MBA from the Carlson School of Management. She brings a background in fund development and finance with more than twenty five years in nonprofit management. Becky built her first raingarden after a neighbor shared the information he'd received at a Metro Blooms Raingarden Workshop. Awards: 2010 MCWD Watershed Heroes Award for Citizen Engagement and 2011 Environmental Initiative Award for Environmental Education.
Laura joined Metro Blooms in 2012 as their MN GreenCorps member. After her year of GreenCorps service, she began her role as a staff member in August 2013. She has a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota, as well as a minor in Spanish Studies. Working at Metro Blooms has allowed her to combine her passions for community engagement and field work and facilitates her daily education in water quality, nonprofit management, and equitable engagement. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, spending time at the lake and camping with her husband and two sons.
Registered Landscape Architect + Director of Landscape Design
Rich Harrison is a Registered Landscape Architect with an MLA degree from the University of Minnesota. His work focuses on sustainable design, place making, and community development. Rich has worked on water quality issues for 21 years, beginning in research at Mankato State University, working for the Met Council studying Non-Point Source Pollution, and Research at the U of M focusing on Transit Orientated Development and Organic Infrastructure. Rich realizes that on-site treatment of stormwater is the best way to prevent pollution and preserve our precious water resources and has since focused his career in design. Rich believes that education and facilitating the understanding of how our actions impact our natural environment is critical to successful design and the acceptance of nature in our built environments.
Deborah has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and has completed post-grad work with licenses in Special Education and Family Education. She joined the Metro Blooms team in 2008. She has 30+ years of experience as an educator in public and private settings and formerly worked full time for the St. Paul Public Schools as a Special Ed teacher. Her background serves her well in collaborating with team members and responding to staff and client needs. She was inspired by Metro Blooms to install a raingarden on her property. She has interests in music, yoga and enjoys the outdoors.
Senior Landscape Designer + Project Manager
Jennifer has a Masters of Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University. She has been working in the landscape field for over 12 years and has experience in commercial, public, and residential design and garden installation. A transplant to Minnesota, she is very excited to be working as a designer for Metro Blooms to help protect the area's lakes and waterways that she has come to love.
Director of Education Programs
John graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with majors in International and Environmental Studies and Philosophy. He worked as an educator in the Mid Atlantic region for a few years—savoring every opportunity to help students draw connections between themselves and a greater world—before joining Metro Blooms as a Minnesota GreenCorps member in 2015. John enjoys reading, cooking, fixing things, every sort of people-powered movement, and the way atmosphere and stellar bodies play together to paint the sky. He is a certified Master Water Steward.
Landscape Designer + Sustainable Landcare Manager
Mike graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Bachelor's degrees in Botany and Conservation. He spent several years with the US Forest service in California conducting botanical surveys near Yosemite NP, before moving to the Twin Cities and starting a small landscaping company. Mike joined Metro Blooms in 2017 and is also currently working on a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota. He can usually be found in the garden with his chickens during free time.
Landscape Designer + Sustainable Landcare Training Manager
Tara graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Landscape Architecture B.S. in 2010 and has had experience with GIS mapping and botany. Since moving back to Minnesota in 2012, she has worked as a retail nursery manager and a residential landscape designer. Becoming certified with the Master Water Stewards program and now a facilitator of the course has provided her an avenue to become more active with the community, to help make a positive impact with stormwater management and engage with new stewards as they complete the program. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, biking, hiking, backpacking and is now remodeling her first home with her husband.
Communications Coordinator + Grant Writer
Aleli has a Bachelor of Arts in History of Ideas from Williams College. She has experience as a freelance writer, newspaper reporter and in publishing. She has written several articles and volunteered for Metro Blooms over the years. She has a great appreciation for the way Metro Blooms engages individuals to take action in their own backyards and motivates communities to work together to improve their environments.
Landscape Designer + Project Manager
Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Minnesota twice over, with a Bachelors of Environmental Design and Planning in 2008, and more recently, a Masters of Landscape Architecture in 2018. Joining the Metro Blooms team since then has happily provided a place for her passions in creative stormwater and landscape management, as well as community health, education and all things green. Never one for sitting still long, Jennifer has been volunteering as a certified Master Gardener since 2011, and is involved in multiple hobbies such as biking, gardening, and camping during summer months, or moonlighting as a freelance muralist during winter evenings.
Equitable Engagement Manager
Yordanose is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with Environmental Science Management and Policy focusing on sustainability and outreach of marginalized populations. She was a 2018-2019 GreenCorps member with Metro Blooms, working on stormwater management and urban canopy expansion as it relates to the engagement of underserved populations that are not typically engaged in water and climate change efforts.
Landscape Design Assistant and Crew Support
Katy is currently working toward a masters degree in Horticulture, with a focus on Ecological Design and Restoration, at the University of Minnesota. She has a BA in Geography and Urban Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia. As an intern at the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources in 2018, she worked on prairie and wetland restoration surveys and designing for pollinator habitat installations. She has experience in organic and sustainable urban agriculture, therapeutic and educational horticulture, nursery production, sustainable landscaping and garden design. She looks forward to working on stormwater management strategies and designing ecologically functional and resilient landscapes.
Sustainable Landcare Manager: Turf Alternatives
James graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology, and minors in Biology and Wildlife Conservation. James then went to the University of Minnesota for his Master’s degree in Entomology, where he focused on describing the bee communities that forage on flowering bee lawns in Minneapolis. James joined Metro Blooms in 2019 and is currently working to install boulevard bioswales and turf alternatives to ensure water quality and provide forage for pollinators, and educate the public about the benefits of these plantings. James enjoys playing and watching sports in his free time.
MN GreenCorps Member
Lilah is serving at Metro Blooms as a 2019–2020 Minnesota GreenCorps member. She is a candidate for a bachelor's degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management, and a minor in Native American Environmental Knowledge at University of Minnesota. At Metro Blooms, she hopes to work with the Native community to install a raingarden and create more green space in her neighborhood. She enjoys visiting with friends and family in Chicago, playing traditional lacrosse, and traveling to dance at powwows in her free time.