Karen Washington has lived in New York City all her life. Since 1985 Karen has been a community activist, striving to make New York City a better place to live. Karen has worked with Bronx neighborhoods to run empty lots into community gardens, launched a City Farms Market with La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, and has stood up and spoken out for garden protection and preservation throughout the city. Karen is a board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, a board member and former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, and a Co- Founder of Black Urban Growers (BUGS). Last year Karen was the recipient of the 2014 James Beard Leadership Award.