An educator for 25 years, Michelle has lead workshops on progressive, non-authoritarian education and parenting in the U.S. and India. While at Play Mountain Place, a humanistic pre-school and elementary program where she taught for 15 years, she took a solar oven workshop and developed a steady concern about trash, conservation and sustainable living. In 2009 Michelle studied permaculture design with Larry Santoya of Earthflow. She participated in launching Gardens of Gratitude 100 Garden Challenge.
Michelle is a trained, experienced mediator and facilitator, and offers her services to the community through Our Time Bank. She is a founding member of the Culver City Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Planning Committee and former advisory board member of Together, a diversity education group. Michelle is a long-time resident of Culver City, where she lives with her family, cat and chickens. Michelle envisions a relational, connected, sustainable community and believes the Transition Towns movement offers a map to such a future.
Meghan is a community organizer and mother in Culver City. While studying World Arts and Cultures at UCLA, she went to France on the study abroad program and spent the next 15 years living in Toulouse, Paris, and traveling extensively in West Africa, Reunion Island, and Madagascar. As a student of Visual Anthropology at the prestigious Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, she initiated a collective children’s photography project in Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar, where she also taught English. Meghan worked as a translator and started a family in Paris, joined a childcare cooperative, and became active in her neighborhood community center.
Meghan moved back to her childhood home in Culver City in 2007. There, she began her community involvement in response to over-development in her neighborhood. She has since worked actively in bicycle and alternative transportation advocacy, edible and sustainable garden-building, greening Culver City schools, transparency and public participation in local government, and progressive political activism. She believes that community is the key to a sustainable future.
has lived in Culver City for a total of nearly 20 years (non-consecutively.) Disa’s father was an avid gardener, and her mother is a social justice and peace activist; she credits her parents’ interest in growing food and ending world hunger with her decision to spend 3 years as a bio-dynamic agricultural trainee in the U.S. and Europe, when she was a young adult. Most of her professional life has been spent in the field of early care and education; currently Disa works for the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families and improving the quality of child care for all children.
Disa is a founding member of both the Culver City Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) and the Culver City Neighborhood Action Network (NAN); groups with a burgeoning interest in both civic engagement and sustainable living. She is currently enjoying working with neighbors to create edible gardens and learning about how to successfully introduce native/low water using plants into the local landscape.
is a writer & desktop publisher with an interest in urban sustainability, alternative natural building practices and inner transition. Her most recent article was published in Permaculture Activist.
She had early guidance from her depression-era parents in the penny-stretching arts of d.i.y. fix-it (gapping one’s own spark plugs), food security (growing & canning tomatoes), and re-purposing (darning worn-out socks). These formative experiences have led to an interest in Transition’s Re-Skilling programs.
She was first exposed to permaculture and natural building in the late ’90s when her sons were enrolled at a local alternative humanistic preschool (where Ginny & Michelle first met). The Blades family continued on their alternative community school path until the boys reached 9th grade and mainstreamed into Culver City High School.
In 2008 Ginny did a short stint as Art Director of Communities Magazine. During this time she was fortunate to visit a cluster of intentional communities in Rutledge Missouri as well as Lost Valley Eco-Village near Eugene Oregon. These short encounters with successful models of intentional living gave her a small glimpse into potential power of community.