How it all began...
Greener Way Associates (GWA) started in 2010 as the Rock Soup project founded by Warren Montague and Dr. Suzanne De Benedettis.
Rock Soup stems from the European folk story “Stone Soup” in which hungry strangers convince the people of a village to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys, and exists as a moral regarding the value of sharing.
With this moral value of sharing, the project started off in converting Suzanne’s home in Culver City, California into an urban orchard and community garden, using volunteers and students that learn different gardening and landscaping skills.
It is Suzanne’s dream, that by showing neighbors how beautiful and wonderfully health having a home garden can be, that many in the community will want to learn how to start their own home gardens. These are not the gardens of our parents but more like beautiful edible landscaping you can be proud to show off. And the youth trainees will be more than happy to help teach and maintain gardens that many busy neighbors want but do not have the time to maintain. That is how they can make money and stay off the streets becoming solid tax paying members of our community.
In 2011 the Rock Soup project was incorporated as an educational non-profit organization with the name Greener Way Associates and in 2014 was officially granted 501(c)(3) tax exemption status.
Graduates from GWA have gone to work for the California Conservation Corp or become professional arborists and landscapers.
During the initial years of the COVID pandemic the organization slowed down its community engagement.
In 2022, with a new board and new employees we are eager to grow the Greener Way Associates. Holding several workshops on tree care and nutrient rich gardening.