Grow Pittsburgh has hired four new staff members in 2015! Get to know them today.

Anita Adalja
2015-02-20 12.45.22-2Anita started in February as the Urban Farm Apprenticeship Coordinator. She is responsible for ensuring the Urban Farm Apprentices have a fulfilling experience. Anita is thrilled to be joining the Grow Pittsburgh team.

Originally from the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, she initially became interested in sustainable agriculture and food equity/access while working as a social worker in Brooklyn, NY. There she co-founded Seeds to Feed rooftop farm at a supportive housing residence for formerly homeless, mentally ill adults. After two seasons fighting wind, sun amplification and other rooftop issues, she spent a growing season at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) in Santa Cruz, CA, where she earned a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture. Anita went on to manage Common Good City Farm in Washington, DC for two years and most recently was the assistant farmer at One Woman Farm in Gibsonia, PA. Anita is looking forward to using her background in social work, farm apprenticing and managing to assist in strengthening the Urban Farm Apprenticeship program at Grow Pittsburgh.

“I’m excited about helping to shape a program and working with a really dedicated and invested team around growing food,” she said.

Christina Bard
2015-02-20 12.44.21-1Christina is Grow Pittsburgh’s new Office and Membership Manager. She keeps the office running.

Prior to working with Grow Pittsburgh, Christina worked with the Silkscreen Asian Film Festival. She’s also worked with the Society for Contemporary Craft and the Children’s Museum. Her experience ranges from finance, to education, to program management, to fundraising, to administrative tasks – a range that makes her a perfect fit for a diversity of tasks she performs as Office Manager. Christina’s son is a student in the Edible Schoolyard Program at Pittsburgh Montessori. Christina has been volunteering with arts and cultural organizations since she moved to Pittsburgh in 2004, including the Heinz History Museum, Sweetwater Center for the Arts, and Pittsburgh Glass Center. She currently volunteers with Garfield Community Farm and Pittsburgh Montessori where she is actively involved with the Handmade Holiday Craft Fair and Wellness Committee.

“It feels good to come to work here every day,” Christina said. “I feel proud to work here.”

Tamisha Von Singletary
2015-02-20 12.47.44-3Tamisha is joining Grow Pittsburgh as a Community Garden Coordinator. They will interface with community gardens going through the City Growers program, facilitate the Community Garden Sustainability Fund process and oversee the Garden Resource Center.

Their commitment to sustainable living was galvanized during a trip to South Korea in the summer of 2006. The voyage, to help resist the destruction of six farming villages 50 miles outside Seoul, also showed them how possible it is to live more sustainably right where we live, right now. Tamisha began volunteering at Healcrest Urban Farm, then was hired as a Crew Leader for 20 SCA & YouthPlace youth in their farmwork/life skills education program. They have been involved with Landslide Community Farm since its creation in 2007, including fundraising, organizing volunteers, serving on the board of directors and serving as a full-time volunteer. They have served as a garden plan consultant for Kuumba and Ujamaa Collective, two local African-centered organizations. Tamisha helped develop the Ujamaa Collective Agricultural Cooperative for the 2012 growing season.

“I am excited to expand my reach in terms of increasing access to healthful local food in Pittsburgh,” they said. “I’ve been focused on Hill District and the North Side. Working with Grow Pittsburgh, I’m able to do more throughout the city.”

Roopa Singh
2015-02-20 12.46.18Roopa was recently hired at Grow Pittsburgh as the Community Gardens Advocate. She will assist the City Growers team with second-year gardens and will also help Grow Pittsburgh expand its advocacy and policy efforts.

Roopa is an attorney and yoga teacher. She founded South Asian Arts and Perspectives on Yoga and America (SAAPYA), an emerging platform on the personal and political implications of yoga, with a focus on body sovereignty, anti-racism and accessibility. Roopa is currently Executive Director at the Living Bridge Collective, a yoga and arts venue in Pittsburgh. She has served as a yoga teaching artist in residence at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and recently completed an arts residency, Yoga as Public Art/Protest at Boom, an African American contemporary art gallery. Recently, Roopa facilitated workshops on best practices in yoga for survivors with NAPISEV and SCESA, national organizations devoted to healing sexual violence within communities of color. Roopa has been teaching Hip Hop Yoga for the past five years, first as a component of her Hip Hop Politics Political Science course at Pace University, then as an offering within the City University of New York (CUNY) system, and as a regular yoga class in Brooklyn.  Roopa has taught pre-law and popular culture at City College (CUNY) and Pace University. She has also worked at National Public Radio, the U.S. Supreme Court, San Francisco Women Against Rape, the San Diego ACLU, and the Center for Media Justice.

“Grow Pittsburgh is an organization that clearly has an impact on life in the city,” she said. “I’m excited to be near the beautiful plants and trees, and to be working with other folks outside and under the sun to make Pittsburgh more beautiful, healthy and sustainable.”