The Chuckanut Center is run by a volunteer board of directors who are committed to working with the public and other organizations to fulfill the mission of growing food, skills and a resilient community. If you’d like to become involved, please be in touch.
Pamela Jull, President & Treasurer
Pamela Jull moved to Bellingham in 1996 with her husband and newborn to work at WWU in the Sociology Department. She taught statistics, research methods and several topical classes before moving into a research position for the university and Washington State government. In 2005 she left the university to give her full attention to her social science research firm, Applied Research Northwest, where she has devoted her time to studying healthcare, environmental education, equity and human behavior.
Growing up on Bainbridge Island, Pamela spent weekends and family vacations either sailing in the San Juan Islands, running on the beach near Copalis, or hiking in the Olympic Mountains. Her childhood influences gave her interest in sociological issues relating to the natural environment and she has spend her professional career working with non-profits in an array of social research projects to protect waterways. In addition she offers technical assistance, research services and capacity building training to non-profits and government agencies around the country. When Pamela is not working she’s skiing, spending time with friends and family and cooking up a storm, as food is where her light really shines! She is pleased to be playing a supportive role as Treasurer in the continuing work of the Chuckanut Center, building community around sharing skills, growing food and increased resiliency.
Ali Matthews, Vice President & Garden Coordinator
Putting seeds in the ground has always fascinated me, and I have found ways, both through my work as an educator and community member, to make things grow. In all my classrooms, gardening was integrated into all aspects of the curriculum. Children are very willing as gardeners, willing to experiment, willing to taste new things, willing to forgo the cute gerbil and have worms as classroom pets…and become avid vermiculturalists.
While I always have always had some kind of garden at home, once even a perennial plant nursery, it was in my first community garden that I really felt deeper connection to what was being grown; sharing and learning from other gardeners, the excitement was palatable.
Becoming involved in food justice was my next step, helping to grow a non-profit that addressed food scarcity. Community driven, it bought not only hope but healthy food. Everyone has a food story, those provided ways to renew interest in home cooked meals, sharing food with each other, and at the family table. Lives changed, one bite of kale at a time.
When I moved to Bellingham, I looked to see what community gardens were available, and was drawn to the Chuckanut Center, because their mission, to grow resilience, resonated with me. With encouragement, we started growing a victory garden, finding places to donate the food we grew. For me, this remains the heart of the garden; each year we are able to donate more food, and develop relationships throughout the county.
Having the opportunity to be on the board, and serve as the garden coordinator, is giving me the chance to help the garden and the center become more a more visible, vibrant part of the community.
Ryan Johnson, Program Coordinator
Born in New York and raised in the desert southwest of Arizona, Ryan has been fascinated by science and biology since early childhood. Prowling the wildlife mountain preserves and parks of his hometown were just the beginning of a lifelong dedication to learning everything he could about the natural world.
His passions include woodworking and crafting, birding, camping, fire building, cooking, and teaching. His journey into education began years ago volunteering as a Naturalist at Oxbow Regional Park. This experience fueled the inspiration to pursue a career in the outdoors. Ryan is an expert in outdoor skills and a Pacific Northwest Naturalist and Wildlife Tracker.
You can find Ryan at the Chuckanut Center volunteering on the Board of Directors as the Program Coordinator, as well as teaching various classes to help support the Center’s vision to build a resilient community here in Bellingham and the Northwest.
Julia Liu, Volunteer Coordinator
Nancy Pearson, Secretary
Born & raised in the PNW, carrots are what I chose to grow for my first ever row in my childhood family’s garden. In 2013, I took a six month course offered by the Snohomish county Master Gardeners, called “Growing Groceries” which focused on food gardening and volunteer garden mentoring.
After my two daughters were grown, I earned a Business Administration degree at Whatcom Community College. While there, I had opportunities to study long-term interests like growing resilience through community gardens, and how to choose and prepare food for a healthy and lively life. I also learned a lot at my part time jobs as admin assistant for the coordinator of a program at the college, and doing work study as a garden intern at small neighborhood York Community Farm.
When filling a niche as a community garden gnome, I enjoy sharing enthusiasm and garden tips among the abundance of plant starts, samples and recipes. Favorites shared include perennial purple tree collards, garden rainbow sauerkraut, squash & lentil soup, and sourdough rye brownies.
Gardening is my Nature therapy, and lifelong passion that helps with my goal to keep learning all the time.
Kevin Barber, Facilities Coordinator
Kevin was raised in Kitsap County in the town of Port Orchard and migrated around Puget Sound as his career as an Architect grew. He landed in Mount Vernon 20 years ago with a young family –you could say his roots started to grow. He became a campus architect for Bellingham Technical College working on Public Works Projects for approximately 12 years. For the past 7 years he has been overseeing the Public Works Projects performed by other architects for Bellingham Technical College and Whatcom Community College. Soon he’ll also be working with Skagit College.
Kevin’s kids are now young adults and about a year or so ago, he moved to Bellingham. Life always opens new doors to explore, and he found connection with the Chuckanut Center as a volunteer gardener. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys fishing, bow hunting, and of course gardening!
Kevin joined the Chuckanut Center Board team in January of 2023 to lead the charge on managing and coordinating the facilities to keep operations running in top top shape!
Come connect and learn with Kevin in the garden at Chuckanut Center as he combines his creative visions, outdoor skills, and gardening experience!
Nicole Novelli, Communications
Nicole moved to Bellingham in June 2021 from Austin, Texas. The mountains, water, and trees drew her into the Pacific Northwest and she hasn’t looked back. She is fascinated by the stories nature tells through flora and fauna, and eagerly explores the outdoors whenever she can. Her favorite activities include hiking, paddle boarding, photography, and ping pong.
She currently works at Skagit Valley College as a communications consultant for student services connecting students with the resources they need.
Nicole is honored to serve on the board and help promote the Chuckanut Center’s opportunities for personal growth and skill building in the community.