Mary Loquvam Director, York Community Farm Bio Mary Loquvam is the Founder and Director of York Community Farm, a non-profit farm based in Bellingham. Mary has managed YCF since its inception in 2012: bringing 10,000 square feet under agricultural cultivation; developing a paid, resume-building internship for under-served members of our county; overseeing daily operations and an annual budget of approximately $50K; fundraising; and, turning a community eyesore (a weed-infested, litter-strewn, derelict DOT property) into a community asset. Prior to retiring and founding YCF, Mary worked as Regional Coordinator on coastal wetlands acquisition and restoration with the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project; a five-county, government-funded, community-based collaboration. Most recently, Mary was the Executive Director of Los Angeles Audubon Society where, among other projects, she launched the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's inaugural Schoolyard Habitat Program. Early in her professional career, Mary started two successful recycling companies; one a non-profit and one for profit. Mary holds an M.Ed. in TESOL from Temple University and a certificate in Municipal Solid Waste Management from UCLA. Mary is a thought leader extraordinarily capable of implementing her ideas. To wit, Mary wanted to incorporate WWU students via a work study program in the farm’s internship program. She collaborated with Travis Tennessen, the Center for Service Learning, and the Community Fellows program to create and launch the university’s first off campus work study program. Mary has also teamed with Engineers Without Borders, an international organization, and three senior WWU engineering students on a pilot aquaponics project preparatory to YCF’s expansion into this area. Mary is also teaming with Bellingham Technical College's Marine Fisheries Department to develop an internship for BTC fisheries students to assist with management of the aquaponics enterprise. Mary sees aquaponics as nothing less than an emerging industry offering blue collar, living-wage, low-to-building-skill jobs for Whatcom County. Mary has donated her time and creativity to YCF thus far and will continue to do so.
A place I love in the Salish Sea region: The High Divide Trail