Garden Coordinator

My name is Kala Willette. I am primarily a mother of two curious, fun-loving and endlessly giving young children. I teach part-time at Western Michigan University and am a certified yoga instructor. As a researcher, I am endlessly fascinated by the phenomenology of space and place and environmental and indigenous justice. I have a passion for poetry and writing, rockhounding and exploring nature, large bodies of water, music, and learning.

What originally awakened me to the beauty of native plant gardening and ecological restoration was a seminar I attended that discussed the association between the rehabilitation of native landscapes and healing the wounds caused by the colonization of indigenous peoples. I have come to view these small-scale ecological restoration efforts, that start in our own gardens and lawns, as small acts that individuals can do to acknowledge and stand against the compounding, ongoing effects of white colonization and neocolonization of both indigenous populations and the Earth more generally. I feel that restoring the intimate connection between humans and their natural environments, thereby resurrecting, supporting, and fostering biodiversity, is vital to the healing, wholeness, and survival of all beings.

I would like to acknowledge that Kalamazoo is located on lands historically occupied by Ojibwe, Odawa and Bodewadmi nations, also known as the Three Fires Confederacy.

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