Lois J. de Vries

Founding Executive Director

Lois is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Gardening Institute and founder of SGI's Sustainable Gardening Library. She holds an AB in Geology from Rutgers University. 

For seven years, Lois chaired the GardenComm International (formerly Garden Writers Association) Sustainability Committee where she spearheaded the movement to define sustainability in the context of the organization, created the group’s sustainability policy statement, and outlined its future direction. Lois was doubly honored by the association in 2019, as the recipient of the Green Medal Award which recognizes the life, vision, and work of a member who embodies the highest ideals of leadership in promoting sustainable gardening and by being named  a Fellow. Fellows  are elected by the Board of Directors for having demonstrated exceptionally high degrees of skill, professional ethics, and dedication to GardenComm’s objectives. 

She is a recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Presidential Award for nearly a decade of service in environmental advocacy. As chair of her local environmental commission, she used GIS technology in pivotal environmental projects, including the Natural Resource Inventory and an Open Space Plan that continue to guide planning objectives for the town to this day. 

She is a popular regional speaker, and has written for national media, as well as for business, trade, academic, and cultural organizations. 

Her current work combines her two most enduring interests, gardening and the environment, while applying the power of mapping technology.

“I have a big-picture, long-term vision that keeps me focused on the links between the health of the natural world and the well-being of humanity. If we don’t keep the environment healthy, our families won’t be healthy either,” she says