About Us

Mission

Midwest Grows Green is an initiative of the IPM Institute of North America, Inc. that educates and empowers citizens to take sustainable landscaping action that reduces harmful runoff into our waterways, protects the health of our most vulnerable citizens and reduces negative impacts of pesticides on non-target species such as pollinators.

Vision

MGG wants to make all public and private parks, playing fields and outdoor landscapes in the Midwest organic by 2030. MGG works with local activist organizations to engage residents, retailers and those who manage outdoor spaces on sustainable, eco-friendly solutions to their lawn and landscaping needs. All of MGG’s programs work to reinforce the other, thereby amplifying the sustainable landscaping message.

Scope

MGG focuses on urban, peri-urban and rural greenspaces of grass, natural areas and other landscaping intended for recreational or aesthetic use. Greenspaces include, but are not limited to, parks, athletic & recreational turfgrass fields, corporate and educational campuses, wetlands, shorelines, forest preserves, prairies and more.

About the IPM Institute

The IPM Institute is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit started in 1998 that improves sustainability in agriculture and communities through market mechanisms based in Integrated Pest Management. The IPM Institute acquired Midwest Grows Green from the Midwest Pesticide Action Center, the initiative’s founder, in 2019. Read more about MGG and the IPM Institute below:  Staff, Partners and Supporters

Team

Tom Green

Tom has been a national leader in market-based sustainability and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) initiatives for more than thirty years. He co-founded and directs the Institute, and served as a director of the Entomological Foundation from 2009 to 2015, and as a vice-president and president from 2011-2014. He was awarded the Foundation’s Medal of Honor in 2015. He has been a member of the Entomological Society of America since 1983, and served on the Presidential Committee on Science Policy and the Presidential Committee on Awards. He served on the Wisconsin Pollinator Protection Plan stakeholder development committee and currently serves on the Minnesota Pollinator Health and Crop Production Task Force. Dr. Green is a Certified Crop Advisor and a USDA NRCS-certified Technical Service Provider.  He holds a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Massachusetts and has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications and presented at more than 250 professional and industry events.

Kelly Adams

Kelly studied Art History and Art Studio with a focus on wood-working at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also attended certificate classes at the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, which fueled an interest in sustainable agriculture and environmental health, particularly school and community-based projects. Her interests include permaculture, wood-working, hiking and travel.

Ryan Anderson

A 2016 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow, Ryan has extensive experience advancing science-based solutions in urban and residential communities. Ryan has a Masters of Sustainable Solutions from Arizona State University and holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Biology and Electronic Journalism from Butler University. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, playing sports and reading the next iconic fantasy novel series. He can be reached at (773)-878-8245 or randerson@ipminstitute.org

Leah McSherry

Leah has a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology & Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Her past experiences include working for the Columbia County USDA Farm Service Agency where she headed the Organic Certification Cost-Share Program and Emergency Assistance for Livestock-Honeybees. In her free time, Leah enjoys going for walks with her dog, Penny, and tending to her pesticide-free garden. Leah can be reached at lmcsherry@ipminsitute.org

Jim Javenkoski, PhD

A proud native of Wisconsin’s Driftless Region, Jim is a Midwestern foodshed explorer who is equally comfortable conversing with organic farmers, pastoral graziers, large-scale processors, specialty retailers, craft brewers and beekeepers. He earned two degrees in Food Science (BS ’90 University of Wisconsin-Madison and PhD ’01 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and has previously worked for General Mills, Whole Foods Market and multiple craft breweries. Jim lives in Chicago with his wife, twin sons and Ginger Belle, their beloved Golden Retriever. In his non-work time, Jim tends to an organic edible garden, co-leads the Parkways for Pollinators Project and volunteers as a youth soccer coach for AYSO. Additionally, Jim is a devoted follower of his sonic superhero, Canadian musician and producer Daniel Lanois. Jim can be reached at javenkoski@ipminstitute.org

Vytas Pabedinskas

Vytas provides soil and turf management technical assistance and expertise to MGG projects. Vytas has a Masters degree in soil science and education from the University of Arizona. He has taught soils, soil health, and composting in schools, at garden clubs, and teacher conferences. He is a member of both the Soil Science Society of America and the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition.

Alec McClennan

Alec is Founder and President of Good Nature Organic Lawn Care, a firm specializing in natural, organic fertilization and weed suppression for lawns, trees, and ponds on residential and commercial properties in Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, and Indianapolis.  Alec became a Master Gardener and Certified Turfgrass Professional at the University of Georgia. Alec is a member and past president of the Entrepreneur’s Organization in Cleveland and a founding member of the Organic Lawn Care Association.  He earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Partners and Supporters

City of Chicago
City of Evanston
Cornell-Douglas Foundation
Environmental Protection Agency
Fund for Lake Michigan
Illinois Department of Public Health
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Lumpkin Family Foundation
North Central IPM Center
Oberweiler Foundation
Patagonia
Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc.
Village of Franklin Park