Board of Directors
Dave Smith - President
I was born in Vancouver, and grew up in Burnaby and Coquitlam. I graduated from Centennial High School and went to UBC for 3 years in Forestry/Biology. I began my working career at a summer job in the newly built Royal Centre complex in Vancouver and retired from there after 39 years at the end of 2012. Most of my tenure was in the Engineering Department working as a Maintenance Supervisor. I moved into management as the Operation's Manager of the complex for my last 3 years of employment. My wife Brenda and I met and lived in Burnaby for 12 years before moving to Langley in 1996. Since we had more time after retirement we decided we would get back to gardening and joined the Maples where we cleared and built a community garden plot. I also started volunteering 2 hours a week at the Maples working in the gardens with the former Garden Coordinator, Bruce Van Garderen. Brenda and I still volunteer 2 hours most weeks helping out in the Co-op's gardens. Some of my other hobbies are cycling, reading, traveling and photography.
Brenda Wilson - Secretary
I was born in Vancouver, but my family moved to a very undeveloped area of Coquitlam before I started school. Nature and gardening, both ornamental and edible, have always played a huge part in my life. We were lucky to live just up the street from a lake and I can remember it's waters being blackened by what seemed to be thousands of tadpoles every Spring. You could hear frogs croaking and ducks would wander into our yard to check things out. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the long summer days spent exploring and playing in the woods and fields surrounding our property. Growing up, we always had a large vegetable garden; prepping, planting, harvesting and most importantly enjoying the wonderful tastes of our labours was special. I retired in early 2013 after a 42 year career working in BC public libraries.
My husband and I have always lived in apartments or townhouses, so other than a container or small ornamental beds, our gardening was limited until we heard about the Maples in 2012. Since then, we have had a community garden plot there and another smaller plot close to our home in Walnut Grove. We also try to volunteer at the Maples a few hours each week helping out with whatever needs doing .When not gardening I enjoy walking, cycling, traveling, reading, photography, cooking and baking.
Natasha Alikova - Treasurer
I was born and raised in the Queensborough district of New Westminster on Lulu Island which is still a large commercial gardening area. My affinity to gardens and gardening started when I was old enough to crawl as we lived on the corner of a large garden where my mother worked as a forelady. I have many happy memories some of which were sitting on the back stairs with rhubarb and a bowl of sugar (my poor teeth) as well as sitting on the ground in the pea patch sharing peas with my dog. I spent many hours in the greenhouses and can recall the smell of damp soil and tomato plants. I still love to rub tomato leaves between my fingers and smell the fragrance. I’ve always tried to have a garden wherever I’ve lived and now that we’ve moved to an apartment, I’m so grateful to have found ‘The Maples’. It’s truly a sanctuary and I've learned a great deal at the various seminars I’ve attended (thanks Amanda et al). I’d like to encourage others to take advantage of the knowledge available. I’m currently a Payroll Manager for a large company on the waterfront in Port Kells in Surrey. Our garden is handy for me as I pass by on my way home where I live near Douglas Park in downtown Langley. My other interests are cooking, reading and long walks. I look forward to many happy hours of puttering.
Amanda Smith - Garden Co-ordinator
My name is Amanda, and I am your Garden Coordinator. I have a bit of a diverse background! I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Italian, but I have a side passion: I am very passionate about our food system, and am happy to provide growing tips to our members and community residents if they have a question. I ran a local farm business with some partners for 3 years, and really felt that the hands on trials and mistakes of farming was the most valuable information and training I could ever have. In that capacity I specialized in herbs, hothouse growing, and sales at market. Previously, and for some years overlapping, I worked full time as a retail sales manager for 17 years. In the end, the customer, and individual experience was very impactful, and I feel a need to encourage members of our gardens, and the community to embrace even small scale growing, whatever their capacity is, for their benefit.
I am also a market manager of a farmers market. I stand behind our local farmers and the time and importance of local growing. I want now to share with everyone I can, the knowledge I have gained over the years.
In 2016, I am completing the Master Gardener’s course through the Master Gardener’s Association of British Columbia, and will soon be in the community of Langley talking all about veggies, plants, and soil!
Check out Amanda's 'In the Garden' hours by going to the Ask Amanda page.
Catherine is relatively new to LindLindLindElke WehingerElke WehingerLindLinLindsey grew up on Vancouver Island and has fond memories of gardening with her family as a child and spending countless hours playing the woods behind her house. She moved to Vancouver in 1999 to attend UBC where she completed a B.A. in psychology. She is now working on a M.A. in Higher Education while working for UBC as an Associate Academic Governance Officer.
After moving to Vancouver and having no space for a proper garden, she was thrilled to discover the Maples Discovery Gardens Co-op where she and her husband are able to grow healthy, organic vegetables.
Lindsey is interested in learning more about the effects of non-organic and GMO foods on human health. She likes to dream of having a property where she is able to have a garden that would sustain her family. She hopes to be able to provide her (future) children with experiences with nature similar to those she had growing up.
While not working or going to school, Lindsey enjoys gardening, kayaking, cooking and baking, knitting, sewing, camping, and hiking, among many other things.
I grew up on a small hobby farm in Coquitlam. Besides raising chickens, ducks, geese and cows, Dad had a very large garden. From a very early age I helped with every aspect of it. Over the years I gained a lot of knowledge on how to successfully grow many types of vegetables. I remember one day sitting in the garden, actually watching beans as they sprouted! Oh to have that amount of free time again! Wherever I’ve lived, I have had some form of a garden, no matter how small. It helps me to keep in touch with Nature. When I lived in a ground floor Condo, I managed to replace most of the Strata plants with Swiss chard, lettuce, Rosemary and many other herbs!
I had passed by Maples Discovery Co-Op numerous times over the years before finally stopping in to explore it. I was very impressed and immediately joined and obtained my own plot. It is an oasis after a stressful day. I have also taken advantage of several very informative seminars and classes held there. I have been a member of several strata boards, and am currently a member of my townhouse strata council. I have in the past been a volunteer and a board member of the Langley Hospice Foundation. I attended BCIT where I completed a Diploma in Marketing Management Technology, and an Associate Certificate in Office Computer skills. I also hold a Certificate in Computer Repair from Vancouver City College.
I retired from Telus and Telus Mobility after 30 years. I held many positions, among them Inside Sales and Key Accounts. My last position there was Escalated Calls-the complaint department! I then went back to school and completed a certificate at SFU as a Career Development Practitioner. I am now happily employed in the Social Services field working with people with Developmental Disabilities who live in Home Share.
Besides gardening I enjoy reading, working out and walking/hiking anywhere in the great outdoors!
I was born in Saskatchewan and raised on a mixed farm just north of town, Zealandia. My parents always planted a huge vegetable garden and as part of our chores my sister and brother and myself helped weed and water during the summers. I moved to Saskatoon to work at the Saskatoon Credit Union after graduating from grade 12 in 1968. 2 years later I then headed to Calgary to take a computer course, as computers were just being invented and I was to return to the credit union full of knowledge. As forks in the road go and to make a long story short, my partner and I moved to North Vancouver in 1979 and became BC residents. I retired from TELUS cable repair after 31 years, so we decided to leave North Van and head south of the river to Cloverdale to live and explore a new area. Part of that exploring was to see the Maples sign and decided that we wanted to learn about growing a chemical free garden. We have enjoyed our 3 years at Maples and the satisfaction of growing, eating and sharing our produce with friends and neighbours. My other interests include curling, walking, volunteering, traveling, reading and supporting the BC Lions and Vancouver Canucks through seasons tickets.