The southern boone learning gardeN (SBLG) board of directors

Our community-based Board of Directors are all volunteers, and are responsible for the overall mission, vision, & long-term sustainability of the Southern Boone Learning Garden.  We simply could not do what we do without the wonderful dedication & commitment of this key group.  Board Members typically serve 2-year terms, and help SBLG through fundraising (campaigns, events, membership, grants, etc.) & community outreach (volunteer recruitment, community/SBLG events, community partnerships, & more). The SBLG Board meets monthly (3rd Thursday of each month, 6:30PM at the Middle School Annex where school board meetings are held). If you are interested in serving on the SBLG Board, please contact Ernie Wren at

We are currently in need of 3 - 4 new Board Members! Do you love the Learning Garden? Do you want to help secure the future of garden-based education in Southern Boone County? Do you want to be a part of one of the premier School Garden programs in the Midwest? Then you may be just who we need!

Please email Ernie Wren at if you would like more information about serving on the SBLG board!



Ernie Wren: Chair

Ernie has lived in SoBoCo over 20 years, although his family roots in SoBoCo go back four generations. Ernie grew up assisting his grandmother on her country farm, learning about gardening and canning. His daughter Anna, who is now a high school freshman, participated in The Learning Garden when she was in elementary school, thus beginning their support of a wonderful program.

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With both his children, Isaac and Anna, now out of high school, and his youngest in high school, Ernie found that he had additional time to spend in areas that he is interested in. He agreed to serve on the Southern Boone Learning Garden Board of Directors in October of 2015, as he wanted the opportunity to make a difference in the community, and in children’s lives. He believes it’s wonderful to see how much learning and excitement the youth experience as they participate in this program.

Ernie has been employed as a Grants Administrator for the State of Missouri, and a college instructor in business. He has been involved in community fundraisers and grant writing for many years, and enjoys coordinating fundraisers, activities, time frames, and keeping the activities on pace to meet an end goal for organizations.

He sees The Learning Garden at a pivotal point in its life, where fundraising and additional sources of revenue are vital to maintain key functions. He would like to utilize his skill sets and experience in support of those efforts.


Paula Vandelicht, RD, LD: Member

Paula is a dietician and food/nutrition educator with the Rock Bridge Hy-Vee grocery store in Columbia. She has over 15 years of experience as a registered dietitian with a bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Missouri Columbia. She also is a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). Her past work experiences include hospitals and doctors' clinics.  Paula has also worked closely with school gardens in both Columbia and Southern Boone School districts, providing cooking demonstrations, education, and hands on assistance in the garden.  Paula has served as a long-time and valued volunteer with the Learning Garden's Middle School Cooking Club, and is instrumental in SBLG's ongoing partnership with HyVee to support that program. Paula has lived in Ashland for 10 years but her husband grew up in the Southern Boone community.  She enjoys crafts, cooking, reading and family time. She is passionate about nutrition and eager to teach children and the community about what local gardens have to offer.

Donna Zumwalt: Secretary / Treasurer

I have lived in the Hartsburg area for over 40 years, although I had family here long before we moved from the state of California.  I graduated from Southern Boone and married my husband Dennis who was born and raised on a farm in Hartsburg. Our daughter, Erin went through the Southern Boone School system then attended and graduated from Columbia College. We currently have a granddaughter in the Primary school and a grandson that will be attending school a few years from now.

The excitement that my granddaughter shares when she has a “Learning Garden Day”, piqued my interest in the program and as I have learned more about it, the more motivated I am to be a part of what I feel is a very important and worthwhile curriculum especially for younger students. Being active and participating in the community where you live and work is important to me.

Having been employed at Central Bank of Boone County, here at the South County Branch for over 35 years has given me a strong background in finance and business. I’ve taken part in a variety of community organizations including the Southern Boone Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to helping the SBLG continue to be a valuable community asset.

Amanda Centobie: Member

Clint Brinkley: Member