Get to know us

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Jan Turner (She/Her)

Co-Founder and Director

Jan is a co-founder and director of Sunnyside Community Garden & Food Forest. Jan has lived in the Bloomington-Normal area for forty years. Her background is in gardening and urban food productions. In the past, Jan has used her knowledge to fulfill a business mindset and has owned her own native plant and specialty mushroom business. Over the last years, however, she has found a greater purpose for her passions. Many in our community do not have access to fresh organic produce and our organization tackles that issue directly. Jan’s guide in life is to be a good samaritan. When she saw the need, that there are those in her community who lack access to fresh organic produce, Jan wanted to do something about it.

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Col Connelly (they/them)

Co-Founder and Director

As a co-founder of SCGFF Col has found themselves in many roles. From 2016-2019 Col taught the summer courses with the Boys & Girls Club, organized collaborations with local organizations and community members, and pulled lots of bindweed! Currently, Col has stepped back from their roll in the SCGFF but continues to aid in grant writing, marketing and organizing.

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Caleb Phillips (he/him)

Garden Manager / Director

Caleb grew up in Hudson, Illinois with his mom, dad, and three siblings. After receiving his Master’s Degree in Community Development Caleb worked for a group of orphanages in Northern Thailand. There, he focused on training local people, sustainable food sources, and clean energy. When Caleb returned to the U.S., he started working for PrairiErth Farm in Atlanta, Illinois. For 5 years he learned about all the stages and processes of small-scale organic farming. In August of 2019, Caleb was connected with Sunnyside and the rest is history. Caleb and his family have lived in the same neighborhood as Sunnyside since 2017. Caleb has been married to his high school sweetheart, Christy, since 2005.  Together they have two children, have taken care of over 20 foster children, and are hoping to expand their family through adoption.  Caleb’s favorite part of working for Sunnyside is the partnership he gets to develop with local non-profits.

Background Photo Credit: Jason Reblando