Meet our Community
Meet the Leaders

Kendra Thompson-Eliason

Garden Lead

Kendra, passionate gardener and weekend outdoor adventurer, donates innumerable hours to keeping Rose Roots Garden alive. She welcomes all volunteers who want to share the load!

When she's not at the garden, she enjoys biking, hiking, and climbing.

Karel Hemler


Karel and Kendra are a power team of Garden organizers. As a small volunteer organization, Karel looks forward to the challenge of continuing to create greater opportunities for the garden with less.


Jim Richards

Operations Lead

There is no end to the jobs that need doing and the hands that need recruiting in a large volunteer driven project such as Rose Roots. Jim and Jason form a strong partnership in leading gardeners to maintain the beautiful shared community grounds. 

Jim can be seen walking nearly every day, during high season, with his wife, Linda, to the garden to maintain their fertile plot and help others whenever needed.


Gary Williams

Equipment Lead

Gary, formerly an engineer, utilizes all of his years of experience to set Rose Roots Gardeners up with the best gravel for combatting weeds, the finest tools for the job, and he constantly problem solves with the garden leaders.


Gary is often gardening with his wife Jeneyne, and daughter Erin, who maintain neighboring plots as a family. Three generations, with their grandchildren often playing in the children's garden, keep Rose Roots Garden vital.


Erin Newton

Communications Lead

Erin has gardened with her husband and two sons at Rose Roots for 6 years and, while not always maintaining the finest plot, her family has enjoyed some of their most peaceful and joyful hours, albeit dirt infused, together at the garden. Her parents now share the adjacent plot and share watering efforts.

Barb Mutnan

Community Outreach Lead

As an outreach coordinator, Barb coordinates the various garden teams and looks for opportunities to liason with other organizations for mutually beneficial partnerships.

Originally from Chicago, Barb can offer tips for those struggling with our often exciting weather patterns.

Laura Bennett

Orientation Lead

Laura will be offering periodic New Gardener orientations. There is so much to learn, put one of the pre-scheduled dates on the calendar and learn all that Rose Roots community garden can offer you, and all that you can offer your gardening community.

Theresa McKinney

Food Bank Coordinator

When it comes time to harvest thousands of pounds of precious food, Theresa's job of coordinating volunteers to transport fresh organic food quickly to the Arvada Food Bank is among the most important. As she was instrumental in coordinating support and put together the team who raised the new Rose Roots Barn, earning a Garden Leader Award from Denver Urban Gardens,  she looks forward to utilizing the barn to keep harvested food fresh.

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Gina Schley

Stewardship Lead

Gina, among the original founders of Rose Roots Garden continues to consult while Co-Hosting "Urban Conversation", a reality show she and her husband produced to show their family's journey towards sustainable living. Get some gardening tips and watch the fabulous PBS episodes at 

Nicole McCrorie

Pollinator Garden Lead

Nicole and Tyler lead a team of active early risers who maintain the new beautifully flourishing Pollinator garden. As Master Gardeners in Training, they are always happy to share tips with anyone who cares to join in helping to maintain the garden space filled with native species at the entrance to Rose Roots garden. 


Introducing Judy Newton

Home town: Valhalla, New York

Transplanted From: Visalia, California

Career: Pediatric Physical Therapist, UCP Director

Family: Husband Brian Newton, Daughter Erin Newton (also garden neighbor) and Son-In-Law Danny Inman, grandchildren Grayson (5) and Julian (2)

Favorite Flower: Iris

California Gardening: Success with patio herb barrels, hanging baskets, rose and veggie raised garden boxes, and attracting hummingbirds

Hobbies: hiking, nordic skiing, birding, gardening, singing (Boulder Chorale, Arvada Chorale), watercolor painting, Performing Arts Patron

Years in Colorado: 2 years

Colorado Gardening successes: tomatoes, radishes, zucchini, squash, kale, and time with family

Happy Place: baking, reading and doing art projects with grandsons. Having outdoor adventures with family.

Favorite Recipe: Ricotta Fresh Linguini with garden red chard, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms.


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Rose Roots Community Garden  |  8412 Alkire St, Arvada, CO

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