Education Team

Tim Kenny

Tim Kenny
Director, Arboretum Education
Statewide Director, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program
612-301-3482 • [email protected]

A self-professed plant guy, Tim has woven his passion for plants into his professional life. In addition to serving as the head of the Education team at the Arboretum, which reaches more than 30,000 participants every year — in person and online — Tim also serves as the state director of the Master Gardener Volunteer Program, which reaches over 140,000 Minnesotans through 3,000 volunteers and is part of the University of Minnesota Extension.

Tim has a broad background in the horticulture industry and extensive experience educating learners of all ages in diverse settings — public schools, urban neighborhood gardens and at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum since 1993.

He enjoys leading a creative, dedicated staff of educators who create experiences for people of all ages, abilities and circumstances to connect with plants. Of special interest to Tim is exploring topics that are relevant to healthy people, plants and the planet, such as clean water, healthy food, urban agriculture, nature-based therapeutics, climate change, pollinators, biodiversity, sustainability and conservation.

Tim holds three degrees: a bachelor’s in Horticulture, a master’s in Education and a master’s in Public Affairs. In 2009, he received the University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Distinguished Diversity and Inclusion Staff Award for his work.

In his free time, he enjoys gardening and photography. His favorite plant for Minnesota gardens is Asclepias incarnata, rose milkweed.

Ann Bercher, Arboretum Culinary Programmer

Ann Bercher
Arboretum Culinary Programmer

[email protected]

bio coming soon!

Malia Brandt

Malia Brandt
Plantmobile and Summer Program Manager

[email protected]
Malia joined the Arboretum staff in 2015, thrilled to join her passion for teaching with her love of nature. During the school year she can be found driving around town in the Plantmobile, bringing the joy of plants and hands-on science to early elementary classrooms throughout the metro. In the summer, she wears a lot of different hats (literally) as the Day Camp program coordinator; always looking for fun new ways to get kids interested in science, connected to the natural world, and excited to spend time outdoors.
Before coming to the Arboretum, her degrees in Biology and Science Education, master's classes in Outdoor Teacher Education and certificates in Montessori teaching and dyslexic reading instruction, allowed her the opportunity to work with kiddos in a wide variety of formal and informal settings.

Kimberly Carrier 
Volunteer Programs Coordinator 
612-301-1203 • [email protected]
As the founder of People & Pets Together and former owner of Hairesy Salon, Kim has extensive experience in all aspects of volunteer services and brings a new level of customer focus to her position at the Arboretum.
Kim enjoys working closely with staff across the Arboretum to achieve goals and bring vision to life. Engaging volunteers is they key to our success in many of our programs. Building relationship and advocating for volunteers are two of her strengths.
Since starting at the Arboretum in 2015, Kim has joined the UMN Diversity Community of Practice, has completed several courses around diversity and equity, achieved certification of MAVA's leadership training series, and continues to promote inclusive practices within our campus. In her personal time, she focuses on social justice, animal welfare, reading, writing, and artistic endeavors.

McCale Carter, Arboretum Youth Education Staff

McCale Carter
Youth Education Programs Coordinator
612-301-3479  •  [email protected] 
McCale joined the Youth Education team in June of 2022. During the school year McCale teaches onsite field trips, as well as offsite Plantmobile curriculum throughout the Metro. In the Summer you will often find her accompanied by a gaggle of campers discovering new and inspiring ways to enjoy the outdoors. McCale has a degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation. The majority of her career prior to the Arboretum was spent teaching hands-on science education in Colorado. Creating lasting connections between people and the natural environment is at the heart of what McCale does, and she is beyond honored to be contributing those passions with the Arboretum through youth education.

Laura Cogswell

Laura Cogswell
Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center Guest Services

612-301-3486 | [email protected]
Laura joined the Education team as Guest Services lead for the Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center in 2019. With a background in graphic design and project management, she transitioned to professional gardening and horticulture in 2006, and became a University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteer in 2011. Laura's passion for pollinators and the plants they love, helping visitors explore and learn about them, and answering questions at the Bee Center, helps to support the educational team.

Dalicia Davis

Dalicia Davis
Program/Project Specialist

(612) 624-4541 • [email protected]
Dalicia is a Program/Project Manager with her time split between the Arboretum Volunteer Program  Extension Master Gardener Program. Her work involves managing compliance policies, community engagement, and diversity and inclusion efforts in support of each program. Dalicia holds a bachelor of science degree, majoring in Applied Business with a Communication Studies concentration. She enjoys mommy and son time, cooking (learning new recipes), traveling, and acquiring knowledge. 

Wendy DePaolis

Wendy DePaolis
Curator of Art and Sculpture, Fine Arts Education Programmer
612-301-1873 • [email protected]
Bringing together art and nature in a professional capacity is a dream come true. Wendy grew up in Wilmington, Delaware with Longwood Gardens as a nearby playground. With a Bachelors of Science in Education and Masters in Art History, Wendy has been able to fuse these passions to make art accessible to all people. In her current role as Curator of Art and Sculpture she is responsible for educating through fine art classes, conducting tours throughout the Arboretum grounds, curating exhibitions and developing programs that work to bring the joy and understanding of art to all of our visitors.
Wendy and her husband John have three adult children and spend much time travelling and enjoying outdoor beauty.

Jackie Froemming

Jackie Froemming
Extension Educator | Horticulture and Master Gardener Volunteer Program

218-828-2323 • [email protected]
As a member of the State Leadership Team, I prepare and share materials with stakeholders that demonstrate the public value of our program, like the annual state reports. I also serve as the Coordinator At-Large for program members that are not affiliated with a specific county program. I live in Brainerd, where I like to grow perennials, especially hostas – large and small. I enjoy baking (I have a collection of Bundt pans!) and cross-stitching.

Randy Gage

Randy Gage
Learning Center Program Coordinator; Field Trips, School Partnerships, Summer Urban Garden Work Experience

612-301-3478 • [email protected]
A member of the Education Department staff since 2002, Randy is committed to expanding access and building programming for underserved audiences. Much of his professional life has been devoted to creating programs that foster the human-environment connection that can take place in the garden.
Randy leads a talented team of educators and volunteers who create and deliver hands-on plant experiences. His years of service at the Arboretum include the Plantmobile, on-site field trips, the Urban Garden Youth Employment program, and the on-site Children's Garden Program.
Randy has a B.S. in Geography and Environmental Studies, an M.S. in Environmental Education, and a certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture.

Diane Greiwe

Diane Greiwe
University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program State Coordinator

612-625-9864 • [email protected]
Diane began working at the Arboretum in April 2014. She serves as the main contact for Master Gardener unit leaders, providing support with volunteer systems and processes. The Extension Master Gardener program currently has over 2,800 active volunteers statewide, whose work benefits schools, community gardens, youth programs, environmental education programs, farmers markets and more.
Before joining the Master Gardener program, Diane worked at Binghamton University SUNY in Communications and Marketing. She served as Advocacy Communications Specialist, helping to build an advocacy network of more than 10,000 volunteer advocates. Preceding her stint in higher education, she had a 15-year career in advertising, working on national consumer brand accounts. Diane is a member of the Minnesota Association of Volunteer Administrators (MAVA).
If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener volunteer, visit

Susan Hickey
Education Registrar Office Lead

612-301-1206 • [email protected]
Susan joined the Education Registrar's Office in 2017. Prior to coming to the Arboretum, Susan spent 30+ years in the travel industry as manager/travel consultant at a boutique travel agency. She is excited to be using her experience to help support the education programs at the Arboretum.
Susan has a B.A. for St. Olaf College in Northfield where she developed her love of choral music in her free time she sings with two choirs. Her other pastimes include attending sporting events, spending weekends at the family cabin, tending to her garden or just reading a good book.

Ping Honzay

Ping Honzay
Beekeeper Educator

[email protected]
Ping joined the Arboretum in 2016 as an educator and beekeeper at the newly opened Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center. She is thrilled for the opportunity to explore the amazing world of bees and pollinators with students and visitors. She has an MS in Natural Resources with a focus in Environmental Education, a BS in Zoology with minors in Botany and Spanish, and has had the joy of getting to work with honey bees since 2014.

Maria Klein

Maria Klein
Master Gardener Newsletter Editor
[email protected] 952-210-0004
I began my association with the Arboretum as the newsletter editor in 1994, producing the bimonthly membership News, annual reports, promotional and educational fliers, and the like. In 2005, when the new Oswald Visitor Center opened, I helped launch the Reedy Gallery, which I also managed.
In February 2020 (not realizing it was the brink of the pandemic), I rejoined the Education Department as editor of the Master Gardener Volunteer News. This turned out to be a lifesaver on many levels, and I feel so very fortunate to be working again with Arboretum staff and the Master Gardener leadership team.
I have spent my entire communications career in the local nonprofit community, primarily as an editor, educator and advocate. In my spare time I like to garden, read, stitch, travel, ride my new bike in my new neighborhood, and spend time with my utterly remarkable (!) grandchildren.

Dr. Jean Larson

Jean Larson
Manager, Nature-Based Therapeutic Services (NBT)

612-301-3485 • [email protected]
Dr. Larson started the Nature-Based Therapeutic Services for the University of Minnesota in 1992. She shares her appointment with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the Center for Spirituality and Healing. She leads team of full and part-time staff to develop and implement Nature-Based Therapeutic programs throughout the Twin Cities -- such as, the Struther's Parkinson Center, The Melrose Institute, Living Well with Disabilities, Touchstone Mental Health, Lyngblomsten Care Community and other locations. Larson is an assistant professor and lead faculty with a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota, where she received a certificate in Disability Services and Administration. She is also a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and Registered Horticultural Therapist. Jean's work has taken her around the world as teacher, consultant and lecturer. Dr. Larson believes a (re)connection to the healing power of plants, animals and nature are key to human health and wellbeing.

Jill Leenay

Jill Leenay
Business Manager, Arboretum Education Department

612-301-3484 • [email protected]
Jill joined the Arboretum Education team in 2012. She holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she developed a love of the great outdoors. Jill assists Arboretum program managers in the creation and marketing of successful programs. Her previous professional experience at corporations such as Disney and Marriott help to shape her focus on excellence through customer satisfaction. She is thrilled to be among a staff whose focus is to increase awareness of the powerful connections between people and plants.

Christy Marsden

Christy Marsden
Master Gardener Extension Educator and Education Manager

612-301-3926 • [email protected]
Christy Marsden is a member of the State Leadership Team with the U of M Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program. As the Education Manager, Christy oversees Master Gardener Volunteer training and education statewide through the Core Course, volunteer toolkits, and other outreach methods. Christy also works with the Arboretum Education team to build adult education programs online and in conjunction with the Master Gardener Volunteer program. Before working with the Landscape Arboretum, Christy was a county-based Horticulture Educator with the University of Wisconsin Extension in Rock County. Christy has a BS in Human Development and MS in Horticulture and Agronomy from the University of California, Davis. As a native of California she's learned to love the seasons, especially amongst the trees.

Frank Meuschke, Arboretum Photography Programmer

Frank Meuschke
Arboretum Photography Programmer

[email protected]

bio coming soon!

Headshot of Sarah Palm with her dog

Sarah Palm
Nature Heals Initiative, Lead/Program Specialist, Nature-Based Therapeutic Services
[email protected]

Sarah Palm is part of the University of Minnesota’s Nature-Based Therapeutic Services - a collaboration between the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing.  She wears a number of hats: as nature-based therapy program specialist, lead in animal-assisted interventions, and lead of the Nature Heals Initiative.  Her work includes nature-based programming to diverse groups in and around the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. She specializes in creative and safe ways for people to access and engage in the healing powers of plants, animals and nature.
When Sarah is not helping people with plants and nature, she is a volunteer and fosters for Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, a Team Evaluator for Pet Partners, and keeps busy training her own dogs in the sport of canine agility.

Ladonna Sandres Redmond

LaDonna Sanders Redmond
Community Outreach Liaison

[email protected]
In her role as community liaison, LaDonna is responsible for engaging community residents, local partners and organizations to participate in activities, programming, and special initiatives of the Education Department.
In 2009, LaDonna was one of 25 citizen and business leaders named a Responsibility Pioneer by Time Magazine. LaDonna was also a 2003-2005 IATP Food and Society Fellow. In 2007, she was awarded a Green For All Fellowship. LaDonna attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
In September 2013, LaDonna reviewed a media fellowship from the Twin Cities Daily Planet, an online news publication. LaDonna articles can be found on her Urban Food Goddess blog at

Allyson Rudy
Education Office Team Member

612-301-1210 • [email protected]
Allyson joined the Arboretum's Adult Education Team in 2008 creating Culinary Programs such as Dinner with the Chef, Saturdays in the Kitchen, Beer & Bites. In 2014 Allyson passed the "whisk-wand" over to colleague Laura Vogel. Now Allyson is part of the Education Department's Front Office Team and is the restaurant and chef recruiter for the Arboretum's Annual Taste & Toast in the Gardens fundraiser.
Allyson has a B.S. in Psychology from Alfred University in upstate New York.
Allyson believes that nature is wise and healing through its diverse beauty, flow of the river, seasonal cycles, symbiotic relationships, darkness and light - and the Arboretum is a beautiful resource for learning from nature. Her favorite pastimes include: a picnic anywhere, anytime; a gathering by the fireplace with friends, family and tasty food; gardening; pottery; playing Scrabble or Dictionary; walking around the neighborhood when neighbors are out and about.

Carrie Stowers, Arboretum Staff

Carrie Stowers
Communications Specialist

612-889-8432 • [email protected]
Carrie is currently the Education Department's Communications Specialist for Public Policy Programs and the Minnesota Schoolyard Garden Conference. She provides design, development and production support through communications in the Public Policy programs and serves as the co-chair for the annual Schoolyard Garden Conference which takes place at the Arboretum every spring. After receiving her BA in Theater and MA in Strategic Communications, she worked in corporate and higher education communications, writing and creating marketing strategies. Prior to the Arboretum she was the web and marketing coordinator for the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and has served on the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Marketing Committee and was a member of the Twin Cities Communications Council.

Kjersten Swanson, Arboretum Youth Education Staff

Kjersten Swanson
Arboretum Youth Education

After several years of high school and elementary classroom teaching,  Kjersten joined the Arboretum Youth Education staff in 2009.  She was first introduced to the Arboretum through GrowLab, an Arb-led school garden curriculum, and her own family's participation in Arb Day Camps and Family programs.  Today, she is able to combine her educational experience with her curiosity and passion for hands-on learning through plants and share the wonder of the natural world with a wide variety of learners.  Throughout the year, she helps develop programming and leads field trips,  plantmobile, and day camps. She has degrees in Political Science,  Education and Spanish and experience in beekeeping.

Sandy Tanck

Sandy Tanck
Interpretation, Farm at the Arb

612-236-8245 • [email protected]
Sandy has devoted her Arboretum work-time over the years to creating invitations for people of all ages to experience and deepen their natural ties to plants and the planet. She's grateful to have had the opportunities to do this in varied ways here, through developing education programming, exhibits, facilities, nature play spaces, and currently signage and other forms of interpretation. She believes that to regularly experience our human bonds with nature is both key for our well-being, and critical in tackling  our many environmental challenges. To care must come first. Her degrees: Bachelor of Science in Horticulture & Master of Science in Horticultural Science. Her free time is spent in the garden, the kitchen, on the road and with her grandchildren.

Laura Vogel, Arboretum Adult Program Manager

Laura Vogel
Adult Education

612-301-3483 • [email protected]
Laura connects adults to their natural world, and strives to connect public horticulture to issues of environmental, food, and social justice. Laura started her path in horticulture with 4-H and landscaping her parents' backyard. She has a B.S. in Public Horticulture from Purdue University and an M.S. in Public Horticulture Management from the University of Delaware and Longwood Gardens. Professionally, Laura has been part of the education staff at Missouri Botanical Garden, Longwood Gardens, and Brookside Gardens. In her free time, Laura tries to keep up with twin sons and squeezes in vegetable gardening and cooking on the side.

Tim Wilson, Arb Farm staff

Tim Wilson
Farm at the Arb Education Manager

[email protected]
Tim Wilson is a farmer and biologist from Illinois who has worked with different urban and rural communities to expand alternative agriculture enterprises and train new farmers. Tim has a Bachelor's degree in Agroecology from Sterling College in Vermont, and did his graduate work examining the effect of plant nutrition on a forest disease at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Tim has managed profitable vegetable production and community gardens in Chicago on city property since 2003. He moved and built gardens for free leases and utilities on abandoned lots as the Director of the Resource Center's City Farm for five years.