Founded in 2017, Taproot Collective is a nonprofit organization with the mission to design and implement successful models of resilient local food systems. We partner with youth and families through collaborative partnerships and educational programs to ensure equitable access to resources.
Our vision is a city filled with thriving neighborhoods where youth and families have equitable access to healthy local food, dignified housing, and educational opportunities.
We operate with the guiding values of stewardship, integrity, justice, cultural humility, equity, excellence. These principles are central to everything we do.
Taproot Collective is made up of a diverse team of teachers, urban farmers, youth leaders, designers, managers, and activists with a unique combination of expertise needed to make sustainable change in Rochester.
Lisa Zeller is a Rochester City School District middle school science teacher who co-facilitates a student-run community school garden in the Marketview Heights neighborhood. An advocate for young people, she works on our team as an educational consultant in multiple settings. She is also currently working towards her doctoral degree in education at the University of Rochester and hopes to conduct research and program evaluation work for various urban agriculture projects in the Rochester community in the future.
Amber Powers is a passionate supporter of the environmental justice movement in Rochester, NY. She holds degrees in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo and Teaching English as a New Language (ENL) from Nazareth and received a Fulbright Scholarship to work in Nepal from 2011-2012. She works as an ENL teacher and registrar for the Rochester City School District. At home, she is an avid gardener and composter.
Our team also includes:
Nannett Cepero, Adviser
Maya Waller, Youth Leader