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Meerkerk Gardens has new managers

Meerkerk Gardens has announced its new team of managers: Marfield Sundt, Susie Reynolds and Joan Bell stand with the nonprofit’s bookkeeper, Jeanne Celeste. - Photo courtesy of Penny Harger
Meerkerk Gardens has announced its new team of managers: Marfield Sundt, Susie Reynolds and Joan Bell stand with the nonprofit’s bookkeeper, Jeanne Celeste.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Penny Harger

Meerkerk Gardens announced it has three new managers, and officials for the nonprofit said the trio have the gardens looking great.

All three are former volunteers.

Marfield Sundt is now the garden manager, Susan Reynolds has been named nursery manager and Joan Bell has taken over as operations manager.

“We are fortunate to have three outstanding, very dedicated people leading the turnaround at Meerkerk,” said Bob Boehm, president of the garden’s board of directors.

“In just a few short weeks, the progress is outstanding, and the gardens are looking better than they have in years. With this staff, we expect to be in a very different place a year from now,” he said.

Sundt, the new garden manager, spent much of his earlier career in the sales and executive-management arena, and moved to Whidbey Island a few years ago.

Meerkerk officials said Sundt has Meerkerk looking spectacular, and he has learned a great deal about caring for the gardens from Kristi O’Donnell, Frank Fujioka and Don Lee. The Test Garden, the Big Leaf Valley, the Asian hillside, the Heritage Collection area and the Secret Garden look “new,” with older plants uncovered, and new species added where old ones had died.

Reynolds, a Master Gardener who has also been a part-time employee at Meerkerk, most recently assisting the former nursery manager, now heads up the nursery area and will be responsible for all phases of nursery operations.

Bell, a longtime resident of Coupeville, spent much of her professional career in technology consulting. She will be responsible for all of the administrative operations at Meerkerk.

She is also a Master Gardener and a volunteer at the gardens, and spent 10 years as a volunteer in Borneo, Indonesia with her husband, Bob.

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