CLDS volunteers help build raised beds in the garden.


Absolute Pastured Poultry

Arc Electric Construction Co.

Archer Daniels Midland, Inc.

Bachman Painting & Paperhandling

Barry Isett & Associates, Inc.

Beechwood Gardens

Bemis Manufacturing Company

Fred Blase, CPA

Burger’s Farm

Butler Township

Cargill, Inc.

Concerned Parents of the Hazleton Area

Conyngham Borough

Conyngham Builders

De Jesus Chiropractic

The Donut Connection

Early-Polli Insurance Agency

The First Federal Foundation

Forbo Flooring, Hazleton

Gould’s SureSave

Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce

Hazleton Area School District

Hazleton YMCA/YWCA

Lilies of the Valley Garden Club

Life Expression Wellness Center

The Luzerne Foundation

Monroe Tree Service

National Endowment for the Arts

O’Hara’s Orchard

PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

PA Department of Environmental Protection

Prana Juice Bar

Live Well Luzerne

Luzerne County Master Gardeners

Pennsylvania State University

Radznel’s Outdoor Specialties

Rex Vending Company

That Butterfly Guy (Rick Mikula)

Lucy Valente, RYT

Valley Athletic Supply

Valley Kiwanis

Valley Seeding

Valley Tutor

Vesuvio’s Pizza

Visintainer Nursery

Weatherly Flower Club

Wolk’s Tree Farm

Wyoming Valley Barbershop Quartet

Zanolini Nursery


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The CLDS is an all-volunteer organization led by a Board of Directors. The organization is supported by private donations, public grants, corporate sponsors, fundraising initiatives, and a variety of partnerships with individuals, local municipalities, academic institutions, and other non-profit organizations.

Board of Directors

The CLDS Board of Directors is currently comprised of fourteen dedicated volunteers that are responsible for the overall management of the organization. A short profile of each is provided below. Anyone interested in joining the Board or nominating others should contact Krista Schneider at

Jacqui BonomoAnn Shamberger

Jacqui Bonomo is a native of Hazleton and resides in Conyngham. Her interest in the environment began 30 years ago when she became involved in a successful effort to stop a dam from being built, which would have flooded the area that is now Nescopeck State Park. She is a now a professional conservationist and has worked in 24 different states and territories. Jacqui believes the work of CLDS upholds community values and aspects of rural livelihoods characteristic of Southern Luzerne County, that if supported and sustained, will continue to enhance the quality of life for everyone who lives here.

Nicole CookNicole Cook

Nicole Cook is founder of the Sugarloaf Chapter of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots program. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Penn State University.  Nicole is very proud to be employed by the US Postal Service as the Postmaster for Conyngham Borough. She is a long-time community volunteer for several organizations and has completed several trips to South Africa to volunteer at the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden in Nelspruit, South Africa. 

Mary-Lee HoodMary-Lee Hood

Although she grew up in Boston, Mary-Lee has lived in about a dozen places over the years as she accompanied her husband, Tom Hood, on his tours of duty in the US Army. In 2007 the Hoods moved to Freeland and since then she has begun to put down roots (literally and figuratively). Mary-Lee has more than 20 years of teaching experience in large and small group settings. A few years ago, Mary-Lee began teaching 8th grade biology, chemistry, and physical science at MMI. A Master Gardener in multiple states (including Pennsylvania), she especially enjoys sharing her love of gardening with children. In past years, Mary-Lee has led the CLDS Garden Discovery Camp.

Andrew LynnAndrew Lynn

Andrew Lynn serves as the CLDS equipment manager. Having received his Journeyman Electrician certification while serving in the US Marine Corps, Andy now works as a Converting Operator for the Bemis Manufacturing Company. In addition to his hands-on experience, Andy gained many of his electronic and mechanical skills by taking courses at Park University and Luzerne County Community College. In his free time, he enjoys being active and frequently competes in Spartan Races--a series of obstacle races of varying distance and difficulty. Gardening, yoga, whitewater rafting, skiing, mountain biking, and a host of other activities round out his hobbies. Andy volunteers his time to the CLDS because of his interest in learning and promoting sustainable practices.

David MotylDavid

David grew up in West Hazleton and returned to the area after going to school and eventually meeting his wife Melissa. His interest in gardening began as an experiment to try and cross pollinate peppers in a greenhouse in South Carolina to create the perfect salsa pepper. After failing, he took on the other aspects of gardening and enjoys the challenge it brings. After having two children, he and his wife wanted to instill healthy eating and hard work into their lives and rented a plot at the garden. He and his family help with the chickens at the garden and have taken to raising their own flock at home. He joined the board in December 2013 and looks forward to assisting other gardeners.

Kim Marcelliano

Kim Marcelliano is a New Jersey native who moved to Sugarloaf in 2012. An extreme animal lover, Kim currently has approximately 35 animals she cares for, from sheep, goats and chickens, to dogs and cats.  Her interest in animal welfare and care is what lead her to CLDS and the backyard chicken program, which she is now responsible for running. Besides caring for animals, she currently works full-time as a Product Manager for Peterson’s, an education company.  With a strong philanthropic drive, Kim also hopes to start her own non-profit in the area, utilizing her livestock in a therapeutic way for special needs children.  In her spare time, Kim spends time caring for her own garden, as well as competing in triathlons and continuing her education. Kim serves as Secretary of the Board.

Jo RobbinsJo Robbins

Jo is a native of Toppenish, Washington. After receiving her Associates Degree in Accounting/Computer Programming from Yakima Valley College, she worked 36 years for  United Airlines as a flight attendant, trainer, and business manager. Now retired, she enjoys spending her time participating in gardening activities—the love for which she inherited from her mom. In addition to serving on the CLDS board, Jo is also a member of Hazleton Area Garden Club and volunteers as a Master Gardener for the Penn State Cooperative Extension. She also heads up the landscaping committee in her community.  Jo has two daughters, a grandson, and a granddaughter. She serves as CLDS President.

Roberta RobbinsRoberta

Roberta  is a registered cat scan technologist , who enjoys gardening, especially weeding, and has been a member of CLDS since  it's roots began. Her other interests are qigong, meditation, yoga and zumba. She  loves to read and has 3 dogs. She is a choir member and teaches 3rd grade ccd at St John Bosco Church.  Roberta is a member of both the Hazleton and Mountain Top Garden Clubs. She lives in Hazleton and has two children,Noah and Chandra.

Krista SchneiderKrista Schneider

Krista Schneider founded the CLDS in 2008 and currently serves as Treasurer. She is a licensed landscape architect and community planner with over twenty years’ experience in the design and planning of parks, historic sites, and communities. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide leadership for the revitalization of downtown Hazleton . Krista is also graduate of Penn State and Harvard University, as well as a former officer in the US Army Quartermaster Corps. She lives in Conyngham, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Jack ShambergerJack Shamberger

Jack is a transplant from Vestal, New York, where he lived most of his life before retiring from the IBM Corporation as a Resource Planner after 38 years of service. Jack's main outside interest in his life has been gardening, creative design with plants and flowers, and involving himself in helping others. While working at IBM and after retirement, Jack had a part-time business consisting of an antique shop, floral shop, and garden center. His community service has included work with various organizations, including the National Ski Patrol System, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, American Safety and Health Institute, and the Boy Scouts of America.

Jim WalckJim Walck

Jim Walck is a Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist and the owner of Jim Walck Lawn & Shrub Service, which he founded in 1970. Jim has been a member of the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA) since 1990, and has served on the PLNA Board of Directors since 2003. His teaching experience includes course offerings at the Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton Campus, and Lehman College.  Jim recently opened up his own garden center, Beechwood Gardens, which is located on Route 309 in Butler Township. In addition to his professional service, he also is a volunteer fireman with Butler Township and has served several terms as the Fire Chief. He is married with one daughter and lives in Drums.