About Gardens for Humanity


Our Mission

Gardens for Humanity’s mission is to develop and share our relationships with Humanity and Nature through gardening, art, and education.

Our Vision

To accomplish our mission we strive to develop and assist home, school, and community gardens and to organize events that promote gardening, ecological education, food security, and artistic expression. We encourage our community to cultivate values, skills, and experiences needed to seek and regain balance with the natural world, to awaken and tend the gardens of the human spirit, and to create an ecologically sustainable and more humane culture.

To learn more about the inspiration behind Gardens for Humanity and the hopeful message for the movement that inspires us watch our movie:

Gardeners of the Spirit – Changing the World one Garden at a Time

“…helping each of us remember our connection with the Sun and Moon, the rain, the seasons, our fellow creatures, and the Earth itself.”

Board of Directors

Adele Seronde, Founder and President Emeritus of Gardens for Humanity.  A visionary, poet and painter, Adele’s passion for life and people directed her to bring some art form to each garden we’ve created. In addition to poetry and art, Adele has written a recently published book “Our Sacred Garden – the Living Earth,” and is currently working on another book about the future of education.

Richard Sidy, M. Ed., President, has lived and gardened in Sedona since 1982. He is an educator, writer and community activist. Richard served in the Peace Corps in rural community development from 1969 – 1971 in the West African nation of the Ivory Coast. He worked in the Los Angeles City Volunteer Corps establishing community gardens and food co-ops. Richard is a retired teacher of over 35 years, and advocates sustainable education through writing and building community collaboration around the issues of food security, sustainable economic development, and environmental education.

Brian Lewy, Vice President lives in Cottonwood, Arizona, and is the Dean of Students at Camp Verde Elementary School. He started his small school garden in 2008 with his students doing most of the work. He is a gifted and compassionate teacher who enlivens his lessons with music that he plays on his guitar. He has participated in Gardens for Humanity’s Celebrating the Art in Earth program since its inception. Brian is married with two young children. He grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and has a master’s degree in early childhood education.

Karen O’Donnell, Treasurer, is a native Arizonan who grew up in the Phoenix area. She earned her living as a commercial insurance agent and still works several days a week. Her gardening experience was very limited in the Phoenix area where it gets too hot to maintain a garden by the end of May. Moving to Sedona two years ago allowed her to actually find out what a full garden should be, and encouraged her to become a Master Gardener. She was an active part of the Greening Harmony program from 2014 and served on the steering committee. This taught her about the Sedona climate and it’s soil needs and now successfully gardens with her husband Robert. Karen is also developing her talents and skills as an artist.

Cindy Hauserman, Secretary, raised her family in Sedona since 2001. She is a naturalist, athlete, coach, photographer, community activist, former commercial nursery woman, and a master gardener in three different states. She is an avid cook, bird-watcher, Rotarian and conservationist. Her home is a thriving food forest and peaceful sanctuary for wildlife and humans. Her engagement with local schools and the community have educated children and adults about where food comes from, and how to grow, prepare and preserve local and seasonal bounty.

Rose Marie Licher, a Sedona resident for the past twenty seven years, is a founding board member of Gardens for Humanity.  Though raised in the city (Wichita, Kansas), summers on her grandparents farm helped her appreciate farming and the natural world. She earned a B.S. from Oklahoma University and her Master’s from MIT. She is also active in the Verde Valley Gem and Mineral Club and tends her garden which is an example of diverse home-scale permaculture and food production.

Janice Montgomery is a master gardener who has been instrumental in developing community gardens for forty years in Arizona. She is one of the founders of the Scottsdale Community Garden started in 1976, the St. Mary’s Food Bank garden, and numerous school gardens. Currently she is the founder and leader of the Verde Thumbs Garden Club, which serves the communities in the Verde Valley with garden education, and mentor-ship, as well as runs the Verde Valley Seed Library.

Raven Venturelli is an activist, educator, small farmer, musician, avid gardener and seed saver, and has been practicing fine gardening and studying Permaculture Design for 10 years. She currently lives in Cornville, AZ and is the manager of “La Ferme Pomme Bleue” – a small family farm committed to strengthening local seed sovereignty and food security. She also works with the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, co-facilitating local Seed School classes in the area. Raven demonstrates her reverence for the Earth through teaching how to live a more environmentally responsible life, and by farming sustainably.

Leslie Fox has been living, studying, working, and exploring Arizona since 1976. She has a passion for learning, local food security, and waste reduction. Since a young age she has been driven to eat seasonally and locally while taking a critical look at where our food comes from and where it goes. Leslie’s passion and values in food security is present in her strong advocacy for trash reduction, and her dedication to serve as Food Recovery Coordinator for Cornucopia Community Advocates. Leslie is also a High School Teacher, serves on the Department of Arizona Agriculture Food and Agriculture Policy Council, and is the mother of two beautiful boys.


Comments are closed.