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LEAF was founded in 2008 by a group of Fremont residents under the leadership of Bruce Cates. Together, they had the vision of creating a community garden in the California Nursery Historical Park in Fremont's historic Niles district. LEAF negotiated a lease for half an acre of land with the City of Fremont while raising funds to design and build the community garden. In the meantime, LEAF started a community garden in a vacant lot in downtown Niles and began offering gardening workshops to the public.

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Once the lease was procured, we started to build Fremont's first community garden. With donations and support from several local businesses, and countless hours spent by dozens of volunteers, LEAF Center opened in October 2014.

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In late 2014, LEAF secured a second site when Dr. Chris Stone offered us a free, long term lease for a half acre of land behind her Mission Valley Veterinary Clinic. This site was named C.R. Stone Garden after Dr. Stone's father. C.R. Stone Garden is run by a dedicated group of volunteers who work year round to grow food using regenerative agriculture practices and donate fresh, sustainably grown produce to our local food banks. 
 

Stone Garden is used as a venue to hold outdoor classes where kids can get their hands dirty and adults can learn about topics like beekeeping, vermiculture, composting and much more. In addition, LEAF has a nursery where we propagate seedlings for sale to the public.

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2021 LEAF Board of Directors

From left to right, : Elaine, Mayank, Bruce, Anu, Darwin and Richard, Irshad 

Not pictured: Jerry

Elaine

President

I am a driven environmentalist and minimalist who is turning dirt into soil, seeds into plants, perceived waste into reusable goods to make our Earth a greener healthier home.

 

Mayank

CTO and Board Secretary

I am a builder. Whether it's an Alexa skill that tells Yo Mama jokes, a utility-scale energy analytics platform, or a fully-automated smart hydroponic system, I build things that leave the world just a little better than I found it. It's my passion.

 

Bruce

Vice President

I am a LEAF founder who is fulfilling a long time dream of actually doing something for our environment. My family were farmers and I’m compelled to get my hands in some really good dirt. 

 

Anu

Director of Fundraising

I am an urban planner with a focus on community building, sustainability, who passionately believes that housing is a human right. And I am a novice gardener - beginning to enjoy dirt and bugs. 

 

Richard

Director of LEAF Center

I was born in the dirt and love to garden. Working for a healthy planet!

 

Irshad

CFO and Treasurer

I am a seasoned corporate executive who enjoys working with community organizations on local development and engagement. Avid gardener and an apiarist.

 

Jerry

Infrastructure Guru

With a background in landscape and construction I’ve spent most of my life playing in the dirt.