Kayla Feenstra, Founder
Certified Master Gardener, Kayla Feenstra, founded Dragonlily Gardens in 2010 out of a desire to bring beauty to the lives of her clients, and infuse conscientiousness of living through organic applications and permaculture practices. With over 10 years’ experience in the field, Kayla, often called a “community champion”, volunteers thousands of hours every year as well as her services to local causes, projects, and organizations, and organizes dozens of free community events.
Kayla gets asked often why she does what she does from people who see the hours of work that goes into community gardens, planning, building bridges between community organizations, web-spinning for people and groups, and trouble-shooting for those who are stuck.
Here’s Kayla’s why.
I believe in community.
Everyone wants to get away, and everyone wants the world to leave them alone for a while, but no one wants to be alone. It has long been a subconscious mission statement to bring community to whomever I meet. When I moved to Abbotsford in 2008 (the most cliquey city I’ve ever lived in), I knew others would be isolated as well. That’s a big part of what got me into community gardens. I’ve since been involved in so many awesome projects that are totally community-oriented, and I’ve met many awesome and like-minded people along the way!
I believe in what I do.
I get to watch excitement, joy, relief, awe, wonder, gratitude, and a reignition of vision take over the faces of my clients every day. When I lived in Haiti, I rarely had a day off, and would sneak to the ocean as often as possible to recharge. Everyone needs a beautiful secret place to go to, and that place is usually found in nature. I listen to people with serious illnesses sigh with relief when I tell them I don’t use chemicals. I get to teach clients’ children and school kids how worms work, what happens to bees, and how flowers hide under the soil till next year. I see my employees get excited about growing food and harvesting their first produce!
I started dragonlily gardens so I could spend more time doing community projects and to bring passion, beauty, and strength to the world, and I’ve loved every second of the journey!
Thank you for taking the journey with us, and for helping us create spaces of beauty and peace every day.
Kayla’s past successful projects include:
- 2014: Built a Tiny House, “Jack-in-a-Box”
- 2013: Founded Farm to Food Bank
- 2013: Co-founded Fraser Valley Permaculture Guild
- 2012: Founded Olde Downtown Community Garden
- 2011: Founded Heritage Lane Community Garden
- 2009: Founded Fraser Valley Community Gardens Managers Group
- 2010-2012: Jam in Jubilee, Founding Committee Member
- 2004-2007: Facilitated Haiti ARISE Technical Institute in Haiti, coordinating +500 students and programs