Alumna:
Robin Ford Parker
Class of 2005
Bachelor of Science degree – environmental science

When not teaching future Lourdes graduates or maintaining the institution's greenhouse, Robin is helping to manage six park properties and their employees, conservation team, trail patrol and volunteers; providing summer camps and educational programs; and operating a CSA. Having been raised on a farm and grown her own produce as an adult, she was inspired to own and operate her own CSA when she participated in a Toledo Botanical Gardens workshop.

"At that time, the idea was successful in other parts of the country, including the east and west coast and a few Midwest locations, but nothing in this region. So I decided to give it a try.

"The ideals of the principle are simple. Provide people with fresh, seasonal produce."

Most CSAs are organic in nature. The farmer and customer establish a strong business relationship, the customer learns how the food is grown and can even become an active participant in the cultivation process.

The produce is grown using sustainable practices like composting, cover crops, crop rotation, organic pesticide use and soil improvements rather than depletion, it resulting in highly nutrient-dense food. "CSAs contribute to the local economy as well by utilizing less energy, removing shipping costs and the produce is better and fresher for people and our environment."

Profession:
Park Supervisor, The Olander Park System
Business Owner, Ten Mile Creek Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Adjunct Instructor, Lourdes University biology labs
Manager, Koester Greenhouse

Community Involvement:
Co-leader, Northwest Ohio Chapter of Ohio Young Birders
Volunteer sextant, Ford Cemetery
Volunteer, Glass City Goat Gals

Gray Wolf Hero:
Commander Earth Ford Parker

Pledge to people:
Clean up the earth
Provide citizens of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan with clean air, clean water and healthy food