About Us


Rani Dorman  Gardening Director and Horticultural Specialist

Rani (RAH nee) grew up in Manhattan, but spent every summer upstate, immersed in nature. She later earned a degree in social work from New York University, and continued to be impressed with the healing power of plants.

In 2004, while her children were attending PS 199 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Rani set out to revive the school’s long-lost garden. In addition to bringing the garden back to life, she established a gardening club in which she taught students and supervised a team of parent volunteers. Now 10 years later, the program at PS 199 continues to thrive.

During the nine years she spent at PS 199, Rani learned all she could about horticulture—voraciously reading every landscaping book she could find as well as attending numerous classes at the New York Botanical Garden. She became the go-to plant expert among her friends and family who always encouraged her to put her talent, knowledge and passion into an official business. Finally, in March of 2011, BUDS was born.

 

Seth Dorman  Site Coordinator; Gardener

Seth has gone from Dartmouth’s Big Green in the Ivy League to planting ivy in the Big Apple. Seth both coordinates the transportation and provides the required heavy lifting for all plants and gardening supplies. Specializing in laying the irrigation, he ensures that no plant goes thirsty. When not working with BUDS, Seth continues to search for ways make life less mean and more green.

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Kelly  Gardener

Chris is a native Manhattanite with a passion for restoring and appreciating our natural environment. He joined the BUDS team after graduating from NYU with a B.A. in Urban Planning and Architecture. Planning to continue his education of sustainable design practices, Chris contributes his design expertise to the creative process of BUDS gardens. His enthusiasm for plants and respect for those who grow them inspire his efforts to green our city one botanical masterpiece at a time.

 

 

 

 

Dan Wenger  Gardener

Following an internship with the Parks Department at the Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park, Dan brought his creative vision to the BUDS team. He graduated from Ithaca College with a B.A. in Music with a minor in Environmental Studies. While planning and installing plants arrangements, Dan enjoys the therapeutic qualities of weeding. He is pursuing a career in sustainable design and loves to plays swing jazz on the trombone.

 

 

 

 

Leanna Ross Marans  Gardener

Leanna graduated from Smith College where she studied Environmental Science and Policy. Her focus on sustainable design and minor in Landscape Studies inspired her to explore the different types of green spaces throughout New York City. Leanna has experience in not only agriculture from working at Gotham Greens hydroponic rooftop farm in Greenpoint, but also horticulture from an internship at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Currently studying for a certificate in horticulture, her goal is to encourage urban sustainability through designing public green spaces.

 

 

 

 

Katy Lardaro  Gardener

Katy hails from the suburbs of NYC and graduated from Brown University with a degree in Psychology and Spanish. While pursuing her degree, she volunteered with the Nature Conservancy on Block Island, extracting invasive species and maintaining preserved lands as well as Farm Fresh Rhode Island, helping distribute healthy local produce throughout little Rhody. She is passionate about keeping New York City green and creating beautiful gardens and natural spaces for it’s residents.

 

 

 

 

 

Bix Windbiel  Gardener

From the organic farm at the Evergreen State College to your rooftop garden, Bix is committed to making plants grow. He spent time working in construction and arboring as a safety specialist and foreman, and is now delighted to return to his gardening roots with BUDS. Bix is the resident demolition man and the only thing he likes more than taking out an old tree, piece by piece, is planting a new one in its place. In his spare time, Bix dabbles in the theatre art, and you should probably talk to him about those Mets!

 

 

 

 

Trey Hahn – Business Optimization Coordinator

Trey has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from The New School where he focused on Urban Planning & Design. Having worked previously with city government, a business improvement district, and varying nonprofits, he is excited to dive into the day-to-day operations and planning of a small business. Trey loves to explore the city’s endless parks and neighborhoods, and while he’s originally from San Diego, CA, Queens has become his adopted home. Trey works more on the organizational side of BUDS, but sometimes you may see him on site.

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