Our Staff

Andrea Rowe

Director, Sustainable Environments
andrea@haltonenvironment.ca

After leaving the corporate world to raise her two boys, Andrea rekindled an appreciation for nature from her childhood. In 2017, she joined the Halton Environmental Network in the Greening Sacred Spaces program, helping Faith-Based Organizations reduce their environmental impact through greening initiatives.

Now, as Director, Sustainable Environments and Interim Executive Director, she also spearheads Halton Food and community gardens and garden-based education throughout the community of Halton, including permaculture and pollinator gardens. She also facilitates "Depave Paradise" projects by removing asphalt and pavement to create new greenspaces to support healthy communities.

Andrea has connected with thousands of Halton citizens, sharing her passion for gardening, healthy food, environmental sustainability, and climate action.
 
Andrea also represents HEN on a number of community initiatives, including the Halton Climate Collective, the Tamarack Climate Transitions Cohort, the Halton Interfaith Council, OakvilleReady, and the Debwewin Oakville project.

Dáire Kavanagh

Garden and Market Coordinator at Open Doors of St. Christopher's

Dáire is a graduate of McMaster University, holding degrees in Biology and Environmental Science as well as Social Work. After working for a few years in the social work field, she took some time off at the start of the pandemic. As a passionate home gardener, Dáire took her interest to the next level when she started taking horticulture classes at the University of Guelph. She pursued a summer position as a vegetable gardener at Open Doors of St. Christopher's in Burlington, which is how she became connected to staff at HEN.

Dáire is now the Garden and Market Coordinator at Open Doors. She manages the garden, operated in partnership with HEN, as well as the Community Market (food bank) on site. Dáire works with HEN staff on developing gardening skills and providing food and garden related programming, helping the community grow together.

Elin Marley

Halton Food - Region Manager North Halton
elin@haltonenvironment.ca

Elin has always enjoyed exploring the outdoors and started developing a passion for environmental issues thanks largely to her grade 1 teacher and her elementary school Nature Club. After studying anthropology at the University of Guelph, Elin found that food was a perfect way to tie together her interests in cultural studies and environmental issues. Working on an organic farm in 2009, Elin learned a ton about growing food and was also reminded of how real carrots taste! Since 2010, Elin has worked as a School Garden Educator, teaching elementary school students about growing food, where our food comes from, and getting hands-on experiences in the natural world.

One of Elin's favourite things about school and community gardens is the community connection that grows around it. She believes gardening ignites curiosity from people in all age groups, across cultures and languages. Elin also enjoys cooking, hiking, cross-country skiing and folk dancing.

Helen Stephenson

Halton Food Program Manager
helen@haltonenvironment.ca

With nearly 200 square feet of vegetable gardens in her backyard, a certificate in Horticulture from the University of Guelph, and a degree in Biology from the University of Waterloo, Helen has extensive knowledge in sustainable urban agriculture. Helen joined Halton Food Council, now Halton Food, in 2017 but had been leading the Junior Gardening Program through the Oakville Horticultural Society for many years before that. Her program included lessons on vegetable growing, weeding, watering, harvesting as well as talks by experts on soil, bugs, milkweed and bees. She has also spent many years independently studying, identifying, and growing species native to the Carolinian Region. She is committed to remaining up-to-date and involved with current trends in horticulture. When she isn’t gardening, Helen is actively involved with the sport of curling.

Iga Balazy

Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator
iga@haltonenvironment.ca

Shortly after graduating from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Social Work degree, Iga was confident she wanted to pursue a career in food justice. She was introduced to Halton Environmental Network (HEN) while volunteering with Kerr Street Mission, one of HEN’s many community partners.

In her role as a Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, Iga spends most of her time out in the community, whether it be getting her hands dirty in a local community garden or connecting with local schools and places of worship.

She has a strong interest in the food system and believes it is critical for regions to advance sustainable, place-based, food-growing practices in our increasingly urbanized communities.

Katrine Handley-Derry

Marketing and Communications Director
Generation Green Program Coordinator

katrine@haltonenvironment.ca

Katrine is the Marketing Manager for Halton Environmental Network (HEN) and Program Coordinator for Generation Green, a program designed by youth for youth with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Halton community. Katrine has been working for HEN since summer of 2018. Before joining HEN she had many experiences engaging with the community in a number of ways from event coordination, social media management and website development. She has worked on stakeholder engagement and partnership development for: the television show Daily Planet and at the Toronto International Film Festival on their Canada 150 project and Industry Services Department coordinating events and developing partnerships within Canada and beyond.

Katrine Handley-Derry graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master’s of Environmental Science, following undergraduate studies in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Film. With her passion for engaging audiences, she travelled and lived abroad, developing my language skills in both French and Spanish. Outside of her academic and professional career, she is a landscape painter.

Manuel Vazquez

Environmental Education Program Coordinator
manny@haltonenvironment.caManny began his work in the field of sustainability with his time as a program coordinator at a sustainability focused charter school in Los Angeles. During his tenure as a program coordinator he took many opportunities for professional development, including certifications as a UC Master Gardener and a California Naturalist.After moving to Ontario in 2018, he desired to build upon previous experiences in the environmental sector with further professional development specific to the climate zones and ecosystems of the province.Manny is a recent graduate of the Niagara College Environmental Technician program and a Forest Gene Conservation Associations' Certified Seed Collector.

Sundus Hussain

Community Climate Action Plan, Project Coordinator
sundus@haltonenvironment.ca

Sundus Hussain graduated from Imperial College London, the UK, with a degree in Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology following an undergraduate degree in Biology. She is passionate about environmental issues and the use of science and technology to tackle these challenges. She is excited to be working with Halton Environmental Network on greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the Halton community.

She hopes this inventory will help shape new initiatives and bring awareness about GHG emissions within the Halton community. In her spare time, Sundus enjoys crocheting.