Meet Anuella Alexandre, a 1909 member creating green spaces within schools, community centers and homes.
A Green Community is my way of taking preventative action. I believe that cultivating a relationship between our future generation and nature is the equivalent of a domino effect that will change the way we interact with the world, including how we eat. – Anuella Alexandre
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today?
I can never tell the story of how I got started on this path without mentioning my childhood. You might say my love for nature is a direct result of nurture. I spent the first 8 years of my life on a farm in a little tranquil town by the name of Archaie in Haiti. My days consisted of following my grandmother around the farm and picking everything ripe for my eating pleasure. My favorites were the sweet cherry tomatoes. That farm is where I learned the importance of agriculture as it relates to our overall health.
Regarding how I got to where I am today: the most significant motives are my son and my experience working with young girls as a behavioral health counselor. The importance of connecting the youth with nature was made clear to me through these two experiences. I realized that children are made vulnerable to a plethora of developmental challenges when we raise them in the absence of nature. A Green Community is my way of taking preventative action.
Tell us about your business A Green Community, what it is for those who don’t know?
A Green Community is simply here to reconnect families to nature. Our incentive is to educate and empower members of the community with knowledge and life skills to live a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. The intention is to make it as fun and comprehensible as possible.
The goal is to manifest a healthier community through social programs, sustainability projects, and educational workshops all centered around un-learning our harmful practices and re-learning practices that help us all THRIVE!
A great example of our work lives at Berkshire Elementary School. We built raised garden beds in their courtyard, which served as an outdoor classroom for our garden science curriculum. The students were involved with everything from picking what we planted to maintaining the garden every class. Watching them harvest the fruits and vegetables of their own labor at the end of the season always served as a reminder that this work is necessary and should be part of each school curriculum.
How can people get involved and help you with your mission?
At the moment, I am involved in two fundraising campaigns: 1) to start my very own Garden Learning Center; 2) to create a Co-healing Space for the community with kärnl moon. The process has been quite challenging. It’s a fact that women of color receive less than 1% of all venture capital investment, and I’m finding out that is no exaggeration. If you’re reading this and you’re in a position to donate, please do.
The most current project I’m working on is a quarterly garden subscription box that will essentially deliver nature to your doorstep. The incentive to create this box was a direct response to Covid. I knew the work I was doing with the youth in schools was necessary, and I had to figure out a way to continue that work remotely. Our subscription box brings you and your family plants for the season that are fun and easy to grow while integrating art, science, sensory, and play. Visit our website to sign up for the launch. Of course, follow, share and engage with us on social media.
What does a future of hope look like to you?
A future of hope is one where nature is taken into account with everything we do. One where we focus on co-creating instead of conquering. I believe we are working towards that future now; taking steps to shop local at farmers markets instead of big grocery chains, buying used instead of new, and cutting more animal products out and including more plant-based things. My generation is ambitious in this regard. We understand that we all have to play a role in order to create change and shift the narrative. It gives me so much hope to know that we’re willing to do our part.
What are some challenges you have had to overcome while running your business?
Covid-19, without fail, is the biggest challenge I have EVER faced while running my business. This work requires quite a bit of physical engagement to comprehend the lessons fully. It’s difficult to convey all of the different elements that are involved in growing plants virtually. This challenge has been our motivator and inspiration to pave a new path for ourselves.
Tell us about some lessons learned from past jobs and life experiences?
Treat everyone with kindness and respect. No matter who! Whether it’s your boss or a colleague. Exist in honor and integrity. These are lessons I learned young, and they’ve served me well throughout my life and career.
Do you have anything else you want to add?
I love quotes, and there’s one in particular that I love to remind people of: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” No matter what, keep faith in your passion, learn as much as you can, and seek mentorship. One day it will all pay off when opportunity comes knocking. You’ll be ready.
Where can people connect with you?
I would love to connect on LinkedIn.
For weekly gardening content @agreencommunity
Inspiring Lifestyle Changes @thegreengoddessdiary
1909 is a non-profit organization dedicated to the holistic growth and development of entrepreneurs.
Palm Beach County was founded on April 30, 1909 — and over 100 years later, revolutionary ideas and creative projects are still being founded here every day. 1909’s mission is to uplift and support the innovators and creators bringing these ideas to life.
Our manifesto: We are a collective of creators who believe that, if we work together, our ideas, projects, and innovations will better our community. We are unapologetically experimenting. We are a place for the process, the mess, the imperfection. We are a place for the unknown to become known. We are 1909.