Jay has spent over five decades creating play systems for children. In the ’70’s he formed a team creating Build Your Own Playgrounds throughout the Bay Area and had a one-person exhibition at the DeYoung Museum. In addition, he created School Yard BigToys, Landscape Structures Play Boosters, Little Tikes Kid Builders, many products for Kompan, and the apparatus for Gymboree Play and Music. He has also been a board member of Magical Bridge Foundation.
He lived on Tomas Creek Ranch, an intentional community outside of Forestville, for 15 years. The next 40 years were spent on his three-acre farm above Graton, where he raised sheep, chickens, berries and tended a 50x100 ft kitchen garden. Note: on a well that produced only 2.5 gals per minute.
He is one of the founders of the Sonoma County GoLocal Cooperative. Jay has been an active member of the Healdsburg Sunrise Rotary Club and is currently the chair of the club’s Community Service and Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group.
Jay has been very concerned with children’s safe use of technology and is currently developing a system that allows children to play popular games such as Minecraft on playgrounds. He blogs at Playgroundguru.org.
Kate Doherty is a California native who is dedicated to living a peaceful and sustainable life. She has had a love of nature from a young age, and entered the farming world after college through WWOOFing in the Santa Cruz mountains. The experience of living off the land in a permaculture setting changed her direction in life and paved the way for her true calling. Over the next decade, she became immersed in the world of regenerative agriculture and managed organic farms, installed backyard gardens, taught horticulture classes, and became a certified Master Gardener and Permaculturist.
She then furthered her love of good food by becoming an Integrative Nutritionist, and got the chance to pursue her two passions in tandem at Calaveras High School, where she taught nutrition and agriculture. She served on school garden and wellness committees, and elevated children’s access to healthy food as well as their connection with the environment. Wild fermentation, foraging, animal husbandry, dancing, and making music are also some of her other passions!
Kate feels most fulfilled when she can share her knowledge of how to be in harmony with the earth and our own bodies, as human and environmental health go hand in hand. She is excited to be part of the School Garden Network and continue to help spread awareness of sustainable food systems to children and the greater community.
Natalie Goble is Chef/Owner of Handline restaurant and partner of Fern Bar both in Sebastopol. She has worked closely with local farmers and growers throughout her career running the restaurants and started a farm dedicated to growing produce for the businesses on the land where she was raised in west county. She is passionate about local food systems, and sustainability in the industry.
Amber Napoleon has been living in Sonoma County for the past 16 years. She has a BA in Humanities with a focus on Sustainable Agriculture from New College of California and is a certified Nutrition Educator and Consultant. She has been able to blend her passions and work in both fields bringing healthy food to people while educating them on lifestyle choices that benefit both the earth and their health. In 2007, while working as a School Garden Coordinator at Steele Lane Elementary School, Amber discovered the School Garden Network and was proud to serve on the board from 2007-2012. She was active in many aspects of the organization and was head of the School Food Committee. Amber was happy to take a step back from it all for a few years to focus on starting a family with her husband. They have two beautiful children and a bountiful garden that she loves watching her kids grow up in.