About Us

Julie Chasen, Founder


Julie is passionate about all forms of creative expression, and sustainable community building. She is on the adjunct faculty of Santa Rosa Junior College, where she has been teaching a combination of music, dance,  and  balance-focused exercise in the  Older Adult’s program, for 27 years.    A multi-instrumentalist (piano, guitar, and hand drums), she became fluent in Spanish while living in Michoacon, Mexico, and playing piano in a latin jazz band.  In 2009, she received a Merit award for community service from the city of Santa Rosa.  She later accepted 2 Community Advisory Board grants and a certificate of recognition from the city  on behalf of Growing a Village/Cultivando un Pueblo.  She has been featured on 89.1 KBBF bilingual radio and in the North Bay Bohemian newspaper.  Julie loves dogs… the funnier looking the better!


Melissa Goh

Melissa Goh

A junior college student from Malaysia, Melissa brings her enthusiasm for Growing A Village/Cultivando un Pueblo into web development and other computer technology issues.






Robert Lopez, Educator/Horticulturist

Robert Lopez

Robert is a Special Resources Instructor at Piner High School, where he has been teaching for the past 10 years. As part of his duties, he oversees the horticultural vocational program for teens. He has worked for the city of San Jose as a community gardens program coordinator, and for Contra Costa County as a horticultural therapist in vocational training programs. Early in his career, he was a coordinator of public school gardens for the San Francisco Arts Commission. Robert is also a visual artist, sculptor and freelance landscaper.


Carol Tuttle, Youth Specialist

Carol Tuttle

Carol has owned and operated the Tuttle Family Daycare for 32 years. This daycare is unique in the way it engages children’s creativity, fosters a connection with nature, encourages involvement in our neighborhood community and teaches kids to walk to their destinations. Carol is also a residential care counselor at the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, where she has been working for the past six years.


Kendra Renae Juul, Youth Advisor

Kendra Juul

Kendra, age 15, is an artist with many talents. Her creative ideas and her concern for the environment have inspired the development of the Growing a Village/Cultivando un Pueblo program, as well as our earliest projects. Her paintings have been exhibited at 1710 Coffee on Mendocino Avenue.