CT Community Gardening Association

About CCGA

Community GardensMission

To support community gardening in Connecticut by disseminating information, building communities and claiming land for environmentally friendly use.


President Seeking
Vice President Bob Halstead
Secretary Dawn Pettineli
Treasurer Cordalie Benoit

Board of Directors

Cordalie Benoit, J.D., M.E.M. was the first president of the Connecticut Community Gardening Association and currently works with the Elm City Parks Conservancy, New Haven’s park friends group. She is active in the Wooster Square Greenspace Group and the William Street Community Garden and a UConn Extension Certified Master Gardener. cordalie.benoit@aya.yale.edu

Charmaine Craig, the Program Manager at Knox Parks Foundation has B.A in Sociology from Central Connecticut State University and is an experienced community organizer and neighborhood activist. Charmaine coordinates the community garden, Trees for Hartford Neighborhoods Hartford Cleans Up and the Greater Hartford Green Team programs; and is responsible for community and volunteer outreach and linkage to all of Knox’s horticultural initiatives. charmainec@knoxparks.org

Rebecca Gollinick holds an M.L.A. degree from the University of Illinois and a BS in Ornamental Horticulture and EnvironmentalDeign from the Delaware Valley College. Is the owner of Rotted Design LLC, she creates gardens, landscape and floral designs for residential and commerical clients. rooted.design.llc@gmail.com

Robert Halstead
worked 28 years in housing & community development and real estate in Bridgeport, and founded its community garden program, previously was a Peace Corps Volunteer and.currently work for Habitat for Humanity and is president of the Bridgeport Community Land Trust. Have an MS in City Planning from Pratt Institute and a Master Gardener’s Certificate from UConn. halcar5@optonline.net

Doreen Larson-Oboyski works for the City of New Haven Parks Department as a Project Coordinator and is the co-founder of the fourteen year old Greenspace & Community Gardens Partnership Program. Doreen learned about gardening from her Swedish grandfather and has loved working in the garden ever since. She is also one of the first members of the Connecticut Community Gardening Association. She and her husband Frank live in the Morris Cove section of New Haven with their cats. DOboyski@newhavenct.net

Dawn Pettinelli manages the University of Connecticut Home & Garden Education Center and Soil Nutrient Analysis Lab. She has been a gardener since she was old enough to pick up a trowel and loves to share her knowledge about soils and gardening through lectures, workshops, writings and outreach events.dawn.pettinelli@uconn.edu

Sarah Bailey is a Certified Advanced Master Gardener and a Connecticut Accredited Nursery Professional. She has watered, weeded, fertilized and provided horticultural and design advice in the Farmington Valley for the last fourteen years. She is the Hartford County Coordinator for the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program.

Bettylou Sandy is a board member of Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). She is the owner of Bettylou’s Gardening in Manchester since 1987 and a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional focusing on Gardening Education. She teaches at Manchester Community College where she was instrumental in starting a community garden.

Valerie Bryant is a retired attorney who now promotes school gardens all over the Greater Hartford Region.

Steve Kovack is a Certified Advanced Master Gardener and experienced community gardener.


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