2021 Board of Directors
Board Chair: Jake Mohrmann
Born and raised in Helena, Jake and his family have recently settled back in Helena after living and gardening at 10,000 feet elevation in Colorado. Jake is a Master Gardener and co-garden manager at the Covenant Community Garden where he enjoys gardening with his family. Jake works at the Department of Environmental quality. He has a technical background in hydrology and geochemistry and is passionate about water conservation. Jake joined the Helena Community Gardens board in 2019. As board chair, he is excited to lead HCG towards the mission of “building gardens to provide the tools and knowledge to grow foods and increase access to healthy and affordable food.”
Board Co-Chair: Amie Butler
Amie was raised on a ranch in Northwest Colorado. Animals became her first love, and she followed her dream of becoming a veterinarian, graduating from Veterinary School at Colorado State University in 1977. As she puts it, “she did large animal veterinary stuff for 20 plus years, before accepting a job with U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Veterinary Services, her current employer. Somewhere along the way, gardening became her second love. As a hobbyist and experimentalist, she has gardened in Colorado (both sides of the divide), Eastern Washington, East Tennessee, and now Montana. In 2011- 2012, she completed the Master Gardener classes offered through Montana State University Extension. She is also a member of Growing Friends of Helena. She fully supports the mission and goals of Helena Community Gardens, and sees continued participation in all community gardening projects as a possible second career.
Clif Caughron, Treasurer
My first career after college was with the IRS in San Francisco and Denver. I received my law degree in Denver, and worked for the Departments of Revenue in Colorado and Montana and in private practice until I retired in 2009. Since then, I have worked part time for the Census Bureau and as a tax professional for H&R Block. I served on the Finance Counsel for St Mary Catholic Community for many years, and was the Treasurer for the Last Chance Chapter of the Montana Backcountry Horsemen for 3 years. I served on the garden committee and was the initial Garden Manager for the new Jubilee Garden at St Mary’s in it’s first year, and Co-Manager the past two years. The other Co-Manager, Dan, is a Master Gardener and much more qualified to manage Jubilee Garden than I, so when I heard that HCG was looking for a Treasurer, I thought my skills might be better used there, and here I am! I’m looking forward to my new role with the Helena Community Gardens’ Board of Directors.
Ruth Linfield- Secretary
Ruth is a recently retired RN, receiving a BS in Nursing from Montana State University and later a Master’s degree in Nursing in 2001. She specialized in Rehab Nursing and worked for many years at Community Hospital in Missoula, MT. She and her husband moved to Helena in 1999 where Ruth worked as a Nursing Administrator at VA Montana Healthcare at Fort Harrison then later as a RN Case Manager for the Regional VA system. Ruth is a 4th generation Montanan who grew up on a cattle ranch in Hall, Montana. It is there she learned from her Grandmother and Mom to garden in a Zone 3 area. She loves to organically garden in raised beds and is currently filling her newly acquired yard with various fruit trees and a variety of berry plants. She also loves flower perennial gardening and is dabbling in deer resistant landscaping with many types of grasses. She had canned since she was a little girl and loves to try new recipes as well as using tried and true recipes passed from her Grandmother and Mom. Ruth completed the Master Gardener program several years ago. She gets so excited when people want to learn how to garden and utilize the produce they have grown.
Les Clark- Head Garden Manager
Les has worked with non-profit organizations for nearly forty years, including Growing Friends of Helena, Montana Independent Living Project, RMDC, and the Center for Mental Health. He is a founding board member of Helena Community Gardens. He is particularly drawn to the vision of having a community garden within walking distance of every neighborhood in Helena so that people can learn to grow their own healthy food. He also enjoys connecting children with gardens.Fascinated by the miracle of life he sees in plants, Les has been a Master Gardener for six years and gardened for more than fifty. He is currently the Head Gardener at St Paul’s Methodist Church where he helped create the landscaping. He especially loves trees and the many gifts they provide us.
Les has worked with people with severe disabilities for over 35 years. He has volunteered with Family Promise of Helena for five years. In his free time, Les loves to swim, hike in the mountains, and ride his bicycle. His greatest passion is nurturing trees and gardening.
Whitney was born in Butte, and spent many years in western Washington and Missoula before moving to Helena in 2016. She started gardening at the Sixth Ward Garden in 2018 due to a lack of gardening space in her own yard. Whitney is a first-year board member and co-manager of the Sixth Ward Garden. She is excited to join the HCG board, and believes that HCG can, and should, be a part of ensuring that all community members have access to nutritious food.
Alexandria KlapmeierAlexandria (Alex) Klapmeier joined the Helena Community Gardens (HCG) Board of Directors in 2021. Klapmeier started volunteering with the HCG in 2020 as a garden manager for the Bausch Garden. Even though she wasn’t interested in gardening growing up, Klapmeier comes from a family of gardeners. Both sides of her family gardened in California before Klapmeier’s parents moved her and her siblings to Colorado. Klapmeier began seriously gardening two years ago at her home in Helena. Klapmeier has lived in Helena for four years. She attended school at the University of Montana where she met her husband Dylan. In her free time she enjoys reading, embroidering and hanging out with her pug Clark.
Kara was drawn to food advocacy after completing an AmeriCorps project at a food bank farm where
she quickly realized small-scale farming and gardening can fill the gap in our current food system that overlooks people living in poverty. She found her way to Montana and joined Helena Food Share as the Program Manager. The part of her job she enjoys the most is managing the garden and believes that healthy, nutritious food is a basic human right. She has been a Community Garden board member since 2017.