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before Where and how do you get a plot of land and turn it into a buzzing community where everyone and everything prospers? 

Come, and find out how to make it happen.

We do it a Greener Way!

Click here to view GWA Slide Show

Greener Way Associates, Inc  is an educational non-profit corporation in the State of California and has a 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the federal government.  All donations and contributions are tax deductible.  GWA is an umbrella corporation which has multiple community based projects headed by various associates.  Associates are not employees but volunteer from time to time which help GWA grow and fulfill it's mission.  Anyone wishing to become an Associate must volunteer their services.  Based on need and purpose all volunteers following the Earth Charter Principles will be considered for addition to the list of GWA Associates.


 "To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves."
        - Mohandas K. Gandhi
Suzanne De Benedittis

Getting Down to Earth

Suzanne My love of family and community well being is what brings me to Greener Way Associates.  What I learned early on, perhaps at age 3 or 4, that has stayed with me throughout my life was a secret to peace of mind and tranquility.

I came from an immigrant, working class family filled with strife. Inside the house was all too often like a war zone.

Out in the back was a little patch of earth. This became my secret garden, a place where I would go smell the fresh earth, delight in its little, crawling creatures and adore the irises in bloom. I would help plant vegetables and wondered what magic made little seeds become beautiful flowers and then turn into food like the zucchini and tomato blossoms did.

I always found after a little time spent working in the garden, that I no longer felt confused, anxious, or upset as I had when I went into the garden. I often wonder if some of my siblings who had turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with our family's stresses, would have taken a different route if they too had spent some time getting down to earth.

Fast forward into my adult years. The same magic still occurs each time I get down to earth in a garden. I became conscious of this therapeutic effect gardening has on the nervous system about 25 years ago. An older youth who needed some help, but had no funds tore out my lawn and put in a vegetable garden. He found this getting down to earth was often more therapeutic than the coaching I offered.

I began to do some research and found the same effect discussed in the literature. In fact, I recommend your reading about what Catherine Sneed (a former high school drop out who put herself through law school) has done to transform the lives of thousands in jail through gardening.
( Gardening Conquers All - How to cut your jail recidivism rates
Dec 18, 2002 ... In 1982, Catherine Sneed was lying in a hospital bed, so ill with kidney disease that her San Francisco County Jail co-workers were coming ... articles.sfgate.com/17573369_1_garden-project-jail-counselor-recidivism-rate )

Although I have a Phd from USC in Social Analysis, Ethics and Social Change, an MS from CSULA in Counseling Psych, all but four units for another MA from NYU in Ed Psych, have done post graduate work at six universities, plus every two years go beyond the 36 units requirement and complete well over 50, and often near 100 hours of Continuing Education to maintain my LMFT license, what brings me to founding Greener Way Associates a therapeutic transformation that occurs from getting down to earth.

If you are concerned about your well-being, that of one another and of this Earth, may I invite you to join in and let's all get down to earth together to transform it for the greater good of all! It will bring you tranquility and peace of mind! Guaranteed!!

Proprietor of Professional Coaching,Counseling & Consulting Services,  Suzanne De Benedittis has a PhD in Religion, Ethics and Social Justice from USC and practices as a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist (LMFT) specializing in couples and executive counseling.  Greener Way Associates Mentor, She is an advocate of
The Earth Charter Initiative     On the GWA Board of Trustees -- and founder of GWA.

Warren Montague

Working Together for the Greater Good

Warren I am a man of few words and many talents acquired over 60 something years. Born in Idaho, I was raised by my grandmother in Clarkston, Washington, from grade five through high school. My upbringing, with summers working on farms, and high school wood-shop classes, taught me home economics, gardening and general handyman skills.

As a teen I worked side by side with other youth and adults to build a local church and parsonage. I often fondly reminisce about the value of youth and adults working together -- and the pride and fellowship we all shared. I learned how to build a house, and to this day I continue to use many of those construction skills.

I cannot repay or thank my mentors but I can teach youth hands-on skills. I know that those skills will become invaluable in life, giving them confidence and improving the quality of their life. That is why I am committed to the founding of Green Way Associates and am supporting GWA to help students and interns to find meaning and jobs. 

In addition I share a common need that many retirees experience. After a successful aerospace career of 27 years, and having too much time on my hands, I discovered that being a handman has renewed my sense of worth, improved my health, gave me great satisfaction and many new friends.

Retired Airospace Engineer at Raytheon. -- Webmaster at
GreenerWayAssociates.org -- admin@greenerwayassociates.org

Mary Sampson

Retired High School Teacher

Mary Sampson Mary is our newest GWA board member.

Retired Teacher -- President of Greener Way Associates, Inc. -- On the GWA Board of Trustees 



John August Swanson - ARTIST


john JOHN AUGUST SWANSON makes his home in Los Angeles, California, where he was born in 1938. He paints in oil, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media, and is an independent printmaker of limited edition serigraphs, lithographs and etchings. His art reflects the strong heritage of storytelling he inherited from his Mexican mother and Swedish father. John Swanson's narrative is direct and easily understood.

He addresses himself to human values, cultural roots, and his quest for self-discovery through visual images. These include Bible stories and social celebrations such as attending the circus, the concert, and the opera. He also tells of everyday existence, of city and country walks, of visits to the library, the train station or the schoolroom.

All his parables optimistically embrace life and one's spiritual transformation. John Swanson studied with Corita Kent at Immaculate Heart College. His unique style is influenced by the imagery of Islamic and medieval miniatures, Russian iconography, the color of Latin American folk art, and the tradition of Mexican muralists. His art is in no way "na've." It is detailed, complex, and elaborate. Unlike many contemporary artists, John Swanson works directly on all phases in producing his original prints. His serigraphs (limited-edition screen prints) have from 40 to 89 colors printed, using transparent and opaque inks creating rich and detailed imagery.

For each color printed the artist must draw a stencil on Mylar film. This stencil is transferred to the silk screen for printing the color ink on the serigraph edition. The resulting serigraph is a matrix of richly overlaid colors visually striking and technically masterful. Mr. Swanson's art is represented in the permanent collections of many museums, including three museums of the Smithsonian Institution: The National Museum of American History, The National Museum of American Art and The National Air and Space Museum.

He is also included in the print collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard University's Fogg Museum, the Tate Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Biblioth'que Nationale in Paris. His painting THE PROCESSION is one of relatively few works by contemporary artists to be selected for the Vatican Museums' Collection of Modern Religious Art. In 2008, an extensive collection of John August Swanson's works were purchased by Emory University's Candler School of Theology to hang on the walls of their new 76,349 square foot building. He was awarded The Dean's Medal for his art's transformative effect on the campus. With over 55 works hung, this is the largest open public display of the artwork of John August Swanson. Life magazine, December 1994, featured John Swanson's painting ENTRY INTO THE CITY for the article "Who Was Jesus?". This painting was purchased for the Center of Continuing Education building at the University of Notre Dame. In 1995 Orbis Books published There Is A Season which featured Swanson's painting,

ECCLESIASTES. It is a series of meditations in art and words on the famous passage from Ecclesiastes. Joan Chittister, O.S.B. wrote the text. This book won the Catholic Press Association's 1996 first-place award in spirituality. John Swanson was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters degree honoris causa from California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California, on May 11, 1996, in recognition of his visionary achievements as a graphic artist . The University also recognized Ray Bradbury, in literature, and Norman Corwin, in radio and film. At the invitation of The Polis Institute of Indianapolis (Indiana University/Purdue University), in November 1998 John Swanson held an exhibition and lectured at Christian Theological Seminary as part of the annual Spirit and Place Festival. In conjunction with this event, he led a very successful three-day retreat based on his art called "Bringing Stories to Life Through Art: The Journey of the Spirit" at the Fatima Retreat House, Indianapolis.


Theresa Blackwell

Theresa Blackwell     Theresa Blackwell approaches life with a passion that is apparent in her dancing, art creations, interaction with people, her many interest and skills and her careers. This Gemini woman can do just about anything to which she sets her mind. A keen sense of responsibility, perseverance, informed decision-making and ethics made her a top producer in real estate.
     She was featured in Baron's Who's Who in American Real Estate." Her most precious awards are her two beautiful, talented daughters: Teresa and Gianna.
     A student of Metaphysics, a seasoned traveler and a lover of adventure. Blackwell went on a Spiritual Quest in the Himalayas, praying and meditating with Tibetan Buddhist Monks and Lamas in their monasteries, including time with Dalai Lama.
     The thrill of a conquest lured this curious woman to a new avenue: "My Life is Poetry" gently guided by Steven Reigns. A new door has opened -- words, sentences have new meaning.
     Theresa is on the GWA Board of Advisors.


Pieter Severynen

While pruning always ask yourself why am I about to cut this branch off?  

Pieter Severynen is currently consulting with GWA to plant a model fruit tree orchard specifically tailored for Culver City soil and environment.  This will be an entirely organic orchard with no chemicals or fertilizers used in the ground or on the trees.

Consult on trees, assess outdoor environments, and create integrated, low resource use, emotionally appealing, environmentally sensitive, ecologically sustainable green space designs that emphasize character-revealing trees and shrubs, low-maintenance and long-term viability.

Los Angeles-based Landscape Architect and Consulting Arborist, principal of
Pieter Severynen Associates, serving homeowners, commercial and institutional clients in the Western United States. Email - pietersev100@gmail.com

Lucia Edmonds

On the board of Directors at Depont Circle Village in Washington DC  

Lucia was a consultant and educator in the field of organizational development for over 30 years. She taught group dynamics and interpersonal effectiveness as an adjunct professor for eighteen years at the American University .

Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning

David King

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.

pasta110910 Writer of gardening topics, poet, songwriter, short story writer, essayist, humorist...

Gardenmaster of The Learning Garden; Instructor for UCLA Extension; beekeeper... not a slave to punctuation! Guitar, bass and mandolin in my spare time... emphasize character-revealing trees and shrubs, low-maintenance and long-term viability.

Chair and Founder at Seed Library of Los Angeles American Community Gardening Association, Yo San University, UCLA - Life Sciences Core Curriculum
Email - greenteach@gmail.com  http://facebook.com/gardenmaster


Stephone Litwinczuk

We live in a world at the brink of a transformation that will shift into a more sustainable planet to allow life to thrive on this planet. Oneness Media is dedicated to bring the visions, voices and visuals of those companies and entrepreneurs that are shaping this new world!

pasta110910 Raised in the serene mountains of New Hampshire, Emmy-nominated Producer Stephon, has been traversing the urban landscape of Southern California for the past 11 years. A graduate of California State University, Los Angeles and humbled to have worked under an Academy-nominated Director and Emmy-award winning Producer, Stephon has become proficient as a Producer, Director of Photography and Editor for non-fiction filmmaking.


Matthew Sloane

Some things that are important to him: playing often; being a body; questioning what is true; making the unconscious, conscious; frisbee tossing; martial arts; writing; drawing; freedom to feel any and all emotions; and singing in public.

Matthew Sloane is a student of authenticity in the context of business. He is a Co-Founder and the Chief Content Creator at Soulful Brand.

Matt previously worked as a graphic designer with clients such as Warner Brothers, Este Lauder, Charles Schwab, and Nickelodeon, focused primarily on sales and marketing.

For 3 years of his 11-year career, he specialized in websites' specifically: content creation, usability, and visual design.

As the former owner of AyurvedaFlow, Matt taught Ayurvedic Practitioners how to market themselves and once led the Boston chapter of the Graphic Artists Guild, an advocacy and business support group for visual artist entrepreneurs.

Matt has been practicing the art of genuine online connection, most recently through his project, Tulie's Garden, a graphic novel about male self-awareness.

Certifications:   'Integral Coach' with New Ventures West - Creative Writing bachelor's degree from Skidmore College - Creativity Coaching certification - Essential Facilitation with Interaction Associates - Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioner certification - Theta Healing' Practitioner certification


Mykal Blueskyes

Landscape Designer 

pasta110910   My design philosophy has always involved the blend of the architectural organization and flow of space with sustainable, organic and natural systems.  Good design should have structure and form, using the systems to enhance the design while functioning as efficiently as possible.

I push myself to learn something new everyday.  I like challenges and finding innovative solutions to reducing impact on the environment and consumption of natural resources.

With 18 years in the field,  I have experience in all aspects of landscape design and installation, from drawings to finishing touches, including :

grading       drainage       irrigation     concrete         pools       ponds  
waterfalls    stonework    tile         gazebos  
low voltage lighting     xeriscape     permaculture  edible landscape concepts

Mykal Blueskyes - Attended Montana State University - College of Archetecture from 1988 thru 1992, and completed a Permaculture Design course in 1997.  A porfolio of his work can be viewed at -
http:// livingearthdesign.com/Living_Earth_Design/Portfolio/Portfolio.html


pasta110910 Denise Friese

Lets change the world one garden at a time.

Custom Landscapes and Water Gardens - Design, Consultation, Teaching, Installation and Specialty Maintenance.

I work hand-in-hand with my clients to help them create their "Dream Yard" while also making it a more eco-friendly environment. With over 30 years of hands-on organic, environmentally-based, practical plant experience I have the knowledge to help you do anything you want in your yard.

Design and choose the right plants; grow your own delicious, organic food (veggies, fruit, herbs, chickens); enjoy and help out our fellow creatures (butterflies, hummers and other birds, bees, etc); reduce your water use (drip, soaker, new low volume sprinklers, etc); grow privacy hedges or create outdoor "rooms" and little secluded areas; remove your lawn and create wandering paths through beautiful plants; and much more!

If you can imagine it, I can help you create it. For more info or to contact me by phone please leave a message (310) 712-1248 or email me at customscapes2@aol.com.

Owner of Custom Landscapes and Water Gardens B.A. 1981 Environmental Studies and Aquatic Biology, UCSB Certified Master Gardener, UCLA Common Ground Program Over 30 years of practical, organic, environmental, plant experience.


Karl Jean-Guerly Petion

Artist, musician, photographer with experience in radio, literature, video, and movies.

pasta110910 Haitian born multi media artist lives and works in Culver City, CA. Mr. Petion grew up in Port-au-Prince, both his father Jean Mari and his uncle Victor were photographers. Victor built his own photo lab. His late uncle Kerl Petion whom he considers the only successful artist of the family had his own commercial graphic studio. Kerl was a leading and active graphic artist in Haiti circa late 1960's-70's-80'.

His father Jean Mari who worked as news editor in radio broadcasting always gave him drawing paper color pens, pencils watercolor paints aquarelle, occasionally along with books and other educational literature a record of spoken fairy tales an Asterix or Tintin comic strip etc. At schoolyard competitions, to really draw Bruce Lee with a pair of Nunchucks or Lucky Luke shooting his shadow to Spiderman casting his web, Mr. Petion taught himself how to draw.

He was impressed by Maxo and artist Doudou Jean-Phillip Moiseau, two boyhood friends in Petion-Ville who used to make real flying kites, cars, (tap-taps) and other functioning wooden metal toys, hunting tools etc... He also remembers a gentleman who used to paint out side in the yard at Chez Madame Sejour. That particular gentleman actually sold his work to galleries and tourists in Port-au-Prince. Nicole Dantes a friend of the family worked at different art Galleries during the period Mr. Petion went to grammar school in Port-au-Prince.

With his brother Hervay, they visited her at these different locations on numerous occasions. At these collector houses and art galleries, the paintings, sculptures and airport art he saw upon visiting Ms. Dantes made a tremendous impression on him. He received a how to draw in 3-D book from Rene Durocher who became his art Jedi. Mr. Durocher also a sculptor helped him with his drawing techniques. His art horizon stopped at pictures of masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel, The Mona Lisa, or work by Picasso, Dali and other contemporary and modern artists he saw in encyclopedic books or cinema about culture and art. He never saw Rothko or Jasper Johns at the museum growing up in his own country.

After immigrating to America in1983, while preparing for his GED he enrolled in the Saturday Art program at Cooper Union New York City where he took his first life drawing class. In 1987 Mr. Petion moved to Kansas City to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Kansas City Art Institute Kansas City Missouri. In California he studied at the California Institute of the Arts to earn a MFA in 1993.

Karl Jean-Guerly Petion recently contributed sounds and music for Inside Darkness a film by Dominic De Lay. www.InsideDarkness.com .

His last project included Le Momo Sonic, an international art and music project started in Los Angeles in collaboration with Michael Esther.

Click on links to visit project sites.
Bandula - Le Momo Sonic COLIBRI

Exhibitions Nov 17 2007 Fluxco Los Angeles, CA Group Show
April 3 2008 Corridor 2122 Fresno, CA Group Show

MFA 1993 California Institute of the Arts Valencia CA
BFA 1990 Kansas City Art Institute Kansas City MO


Robyn LaBeaud

I love the outdoors and anything to do with nature.

Born raised in Los Angeles, California. I absolutely love life & people. 

The Beach is at the top of the list. I love to listen to the waves & walk on the sea shore(sounds corny but I like that stuff).

I love to cook actually I'm a Chef & I love to create.

I'm a licensed breeder of German Rottweilers & train them as well .

Opps I forgot to mention I'm also a Certified Massage Therapist to the Stars

..one more thing I used to do Tournament Martial Arts fighting..that's it.

Most important I love to make you smile :)

Owner Rawbyn's Radical Water
(310) 707-2158


Brandy Adkins

Girl Scout Leader and Educational Advocate. 

pasta110910 I have been a Counselor to Girl Scouts since 1994, this has provided me with many years of experience with teens and the special circumstances that today's youth find themselves in.  Social media, educational expectations, cell phones, and often lower expectations for their future has made growing up a scary and often hazardous journey.

Raised and educated in Kentucky, I lived in New Zealand from 2001 through 2005 working first with gifted students and then touring with a Technology Road Show providing interactive science and technology to children, finally working with an Out of School Care and Recreation Program where I had a major administrative role.

In January of 2006 I returned to Fremont, California and worked for Families of Alameda for Multi-Cultural/Lingual Education.  FAME was a public charter school enabling students to become independent thinkers, life-long learners and responsible contributing members of society.  That fall I began teaching at Pacifica Community Chart School in Los Angeles.

I was fortunate to be part of this community during the last three years of its nine-year existence and experienced tremendous growth professionally and personally.  My experience teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at this school and the organization and administrative experiences I have learned are among the reasons why I am excited by the creation of Greener Way Associates, Inc. and look forward working together to making a greener world.

Brandy Adkins - Obtained a BS in Curriculum and Instruction, Middle Grades Education - Mathematics and Science Emphasis.  Administration, Communication, Technology, Teaching, Coordinator, and Trainer are some of her accomplishments taken from her impressive Resume.


Linda Brady

Education is something that no one can take from you. 

Linda Brady
I am a very private person with a big heart.  Knowing Suzanne De Bennedittis has exposed me to home gardening and I now have a variety of plants and vegetables growing in a very small space behind my home.

I became aware of Greener Way Associates, Inc. through my friendship with Suzanne and Warren.  When they told me that they had recently incorporated a non profit corp to help at risk youth; I volunteered to help them with a strategic plan, so that they could more easily qualify for funding  opportunities As it turns out, I was previously employed by the Center for Non Profit Developement in Los Angeles and helped the Center set up a Non Profit Reference Library.

Linda Brady Librarian at Los Angeles Southwest College. -- On Advisorary Board at Greener Way Associates, Inc.
All GWA public records can be found by clicking on this link .
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 Last Updated November 2019
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