Stefanie Berganini

Executive Director

Pronouns: they or she

Stefanie is a cultural anthropologist and community organizer, and, as of September 2021, our new Executive Director. They’re a military brat who was born in Italy, grew up in Colorado Springs, and have lived in Fort Collins – with the exception of a few years in the Pacific Northwest – since 2002. They have undergrad degrees in art, psychology, and anthropology, and an MA from CSU’s department of anthropology and geography. Stefanie’s grad school research focused on homelessness in Fort Collins, and the intersection between public policy, social services, stigmatization/dehumanization, and the lived experiences of people who are unhoused.

As an applied social scientist, especially one focused on governance, power, and the inherent inequity and unsustainability of neoliberal capitalism, their goal has always been to take their work out of the ivory tower and into the streets. Stefanie has worked or been on the board of multiple non-profit organizations in town, and an active volunteer and community organizer around issues including homelessness, jail reform, and the rights of grad workers at CSU. They were an intern with The Growing Project during the 2019 growing season, and became a member of TGP’s board, and chair of our Governance & Oversight committee, at the start of 2021.

You can connect with Stefanie at

Arielle Quintana

Programs & Garden Manager

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Arielle is a proud tribal member of Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico. She has over 10 years of experience in natural resources management, agriculture, and food systems, in addition to a B.S. in Rangeland Ecology/Restoration Ecology from Colorado State University. The majority of her work has focused on supporting tribes in the stewardship of ancestral lands to strengthen tribal sovereignty, as well as supporting other marginalized communities in accessing and stewarding lands.

Arielle has been learning and practicing Pueblo farming with her family and community since she could walk. She has also served as lead garden manager and educator of Ojos y Manos, the ethnobotanical garden at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. As our Programs & Garden Manager, Arielle strives to center and practice Indigenous and Pueblo ways of knowing and being in TGP’s community programs, stewardship of the garden, and the organization more broadly.

In addition to her role at TGP, Arielle is pursuing a PhD in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at CSU. She enjoys reading books and comics, cooking, baking, and being outside. She is excited to reconnect with soil and help others reconnect with food and land!

You can connect with Arielle at

Lindsey Garchar

Programs Assistant

Pronouns: they/elle or she/ella

Lindsey is excited to be TGP’s Programs Assistant after interning with the organization in 2022 in completion of a dual degree in Social Work and Languages, Literatures and Cultures with a concentration in Spanish from Colorado State University. They are passionate about food sovereignty, language and environmental justice, and gardening in climate appropriate and sustainable ways.

They are ready to learn from and alongside the community about what food sovereignty and justice can look like in Fort Collins, as well as how we can connect to one another and nourish and heal ourselves through community-led cultivation, harvest, land stewardship and the sharing of meals.

​You can connect with Lindsey at

Liz Manes

Horticulture Therapist

Pronouns: she/her/hers

A farmer by trade, Liz has worked with organic CSA operations and commercial farms in Colorado, New Mexico, California and Connecticut. Scatter-brained and rather hyper by nature, she doesn’t get called ‘Dizzy Lizzy’ for nothin’ ! 😉

Liz loves getting her hands in the dirt, growing and sharing real food, jumping in alpine lakes and streams, engaging folks with the healing power of gardening, partaking in (wild) land and seed preservation efforts, and learning more about the intersections of food, people, and justice with each new season. Following a long hiatus from the academic world (Colorado College ‘82), Liz returned to formal education in 1994 to earn a Masters in Agriculture Extension and Education from CSU. She received a certificate in Horticultural Therapy in 2011. Liz is a firm believer in hands-on/experiential education and is grateful to be part of TGP’s team ! (end).

You can connect with Liz at