Who We Are

Green Our Planet was founded by filmmakers and entrepreneurs Ciara Byrne and Kim McQuarrie. They believe that every student deserves the opportunity to learn science outside in a school garden and/or in a hydroponics laboratory, to have the opportunity to learn how to eat and live a healthy life and to be able to connect with the planet and nature in a meaningful way. Alongside their team they are on a mission to increase joy and equity in communities across America and around the world by empowering people to grow food and connecting them to the magic and majesty of the Universe.

Who We Are

Green Our Planet was founded by filmmakers and entrepreneurs Ciara Byrne and Kim McQuarrie.  They believe that every student deserves the opportunity to learn science outside in a school garden and/or in a hydroponics laboratory, to have the opportunity to learn how to eat and live a healthy life and to be able to connect with the planet and nature in a meaningful way. They are on a mission alongside their team to increase joy and equity in communities across America and around the world by empowering people to grow food and connecting them to the magic and majesty of the Universe.

Awards and Recognition

2021 Las Vegas Bowl Community Champion
2020 Civvys Youth Award
2019 Obama Foundation Fellowship
2016 Compassionate Heroes Award
2015 CES "Best Green Organisation"
2015 High Tech Woman of the Year
2014 USGBC’s Best Community Organization
2014  Public Health Hero of the Year

The wonders of the universe start with a seed

'It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago Kim and I sat at our kitchen table across from each other, messy piles of paperwork between us, chatting about the teachers and principals who were reaching out to us to see if we could help them get gardens built in Las Vegas. We were fascinated that so many teachers were clamoring for gardens.  It felt like a need that was bigger than just one garden at a school and more like a simmering song beneath the earth. Ah, yes a movement was stirring.  And that’s what Green Our Planet is a part of. We are a part of a movement of passionate teachers, principals, students, parents, community members who yearn to put their hands in the dirt, to pull a ripe tomato from a vine, who deeply need a connection to the planet. Deep down we all know that connecting ourselves and our children to the planet is a way for us to become whole, to return home.'

Ciara Byrne, Co-Founder Green Our Planet

Our History

2013 - Green Our Planet Beginnings

During time spent in Africa filming, Ciara and Kim’s paleoanthropologist-conservationist friend, Dr. Richard Leakey, asked them a simple question: “How can you use filmmaking, the internet and fundraising to help conservation?” Kim and Ciara came up with the idea of creating a crowdfunding platform for green projects, created a nonprofit called “Green Our Planet,” and launched both in 2013.

2014

November: John S. Park Elementary School held the first ever student-run farmers market by Clark County School District students.

2015

Los Vaqueros asks Green Our Planet to team up to help Los Ranchos High School and Walter Bracken STEAM Academy students utilize the hydroponic units that Los Ranchos students designed and built in a leadership course with Los Vaqueros.

2016

Green Our Planet begins developing the Hydroponics program while working with Los Vaqueros.

2020

Virtual Academy was created.

2022

From 2019 to 2022 the hydroponics program spread nationally to include more than 100 schools in 15 states, including Alaska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New York, Idaho, Missouri, Michigan, and Nevada.

2023

Record breaking Giant Student Farmers Market - over 500 students and 60 schools raised $22,000 for their school gardens, doubling the amount raised from the previous market. 

2024

Plans are in place to expand to 1200 schools and to take Green Our Planet’s Giant Student Farmers Market national.

Our Board of Directors

Ciara Byrne
Founder & Co-CEO
Kim MacQuarrie
Founder & Co-CEO
James Bristow
Emily Ellis
Joe Ganley
Dr. Gard Jameson
Brian Kunec
Kristi Overgaard
Mark Rowland

Our Team

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Wendy Cashin
Vice President of Finance
Finance and HR
Tami Lemire
Vice President of Partnerships and Impact
Business Development
Liz Morris
Vice President of Operations and Programming
Operations
Jorge Rodriguez
Director of Technology
Technology
Gabriela Prato
Special Projects Manager
Operations
Jennie DiPadova
Marketing Manager
Business Development
Katie Zimmerman
Education & Engagement Coach & PLE Trainer
Operations
Angelo Reyes
Garden Maintenance Technician
Garden Maintenance
Christy Carlson
Director of Business Development
Business Development
Liliana Martinez
Program Coordinator
Operations
Samantha West
Garden Portal Community Manager
Technology
Trevor Odders
Garden Maintenance Supervisor
Garden Maintenance
Yolanda Reyes
Farmer Manager
Farmers
Madelynn Sneed
Coordinator Manager
Operations
Chris Anderson
Education & Engagement Coach
Operations
Elizabeth Schroeder
Farmer
Farmers
Jacob Ginn
Program Coordinator
Operations
Suzie Petronzi
Education & Engagement Manager
Operations
Jessica Melendez
Director of Finance
Finance and HR
Andrea Martinez
HR & Finance Senior Coordinator
Finance and HR
Mayra Crisanto
Administrative Assistant
Finance and HR
Leah Jaynes
Data and Impact Analyst
Technology
Corinne Spitzer
Director of Social Impact
Business Development
Woody Worthington
Director of National Partnerships and Special Envoy to Northern & Rural Nevada
Business Development
Hannah Rounds
Director of Fundraising
Business Development
Daryl Gibson
Director of Programming
Operations
Hanna Rahman
Director of People and Culture
Finance and HR
Lauren Reyes
Farmer
Farmers
Nehemia "Norman" Prophett
Farmer
Farmers
David Fenton
Director of Sales
Business Development

We're hiring!

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