Leobardo “Leo” Ceja

Watershed Restoration Field Crew

Cyrus Gangei

Water Conservation Program Manager

Cyrus Gangei joined Urban Tilth in the Summer of 2023 to expand the Basins of Relation program with the inclusion of a water conservation curriculum. Cyrus works alongside the Watershed crew to offer laundry-to-landscape, drip irrigation, and rainwater catchment systems to low-income homeowners free of charge. Before joining Urban Tilth, Cyrus studied Environmental Design at Arizona State University where he received the Fall 2021 Program award for his work to provide water conservation opportunities to the underprivileged community of Central City South Phoenix. Cyrus grew up in Berkeley with a love for everything nature, food, and sports. He currently coaches and plays for an adult softball league to provide him with that sense of competition and team comradery. Cyrus has been inspired by Urban Tilth’s mission to empower the community through land stewardship. He hopes to educate and inspire others by creating a pathway to economic empowerment by helping families most in need become more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Angelina “Angie” Burkley

Watershed Restoration Field Crew

Jessica “Jessie” Blanquel

Watershed Restoration Field Crew

Lucas Barrera

Watershed Community Engagement Coordinater

Lucas Javier Barrera, the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Watersheds Crew, has spent over a decade enhancing gardens and natural spaces in the Bay Area and L.A. With a background in History, Lucas is grateful for Urban Tilth’s opportunity to serve and steward his Richmond community. Beyond work, he delights in engaging with community members through activities like pool or pickleball, and exploring the Bay Area’s natural treasures. Lucas counts working with local youth in U.T.’s Apprenticeship Program as a career highlight.

Marlow Bryd Ray

Watershed Technician

Marlow started on the Watershed’s Team as a Basin’s of Relations Apprentice in 2017. Since then he has become a leader and anchor of our watershed technician team.

Paola Casillas

Community Engagement / CSA Coordinator

Paola has been a part of the Urban Tilth team for over a year now. She was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and was raised in Richmond, California. She loves animals and being able to work with the community. “Catch me at the North Richmond Farm taking care of the chickens, harvesting, or washing boxes!”

Solwazi Allah

Crew Manager

Solwazi was born and raised in Oakland, California. He is a Berkeley Community Fund Scholar and has an Environmental Studies degree from UC Santa Cruz…a Proud Banana Slug! Solwazi joined Urban Tilth as an apprentice through the Watersheds Basins of Relations Program in the Fall of 2019 and then later joined the Watersheds crew after completing the program, and became a Crew Manager in September 2020. As a crew manager, he plans out the workday, strategizes with contacts for numerous work contracts, schedules out equipment/tools, and completes managerial reports. He’s also an avid fisherman and environmental steward, passionate sports fan, food lover, and a loving brother and son.

Nathan Bickart

Director of Watershed and Water Conservation Programs

Nathan designs curriculum for and leads Urban Tilth’s Watershed Restoration Training Program. Nathan is an ecologist and educator who has worked in the North Richmond community since his graduation from UC Berkeley in 2013. At UCB, Nathan studied Conservation and Resource Studies, with a focus on Ecological Restoration and Education, and upon his graduation he received a Stronach Prize to plan and build a creek-side community garden in North Richmond (still under harvest as Urban Tilth’s 1st St. Garden). Prior to working at Urban Tilth, Nathan served as Lead Restoration Coordinator for the Strawberry Creek Restoration Program in Berkeley. Nathan has worked as an educator for over half of his life, in a diverse array of settings. Nathan’s pedagogy revolves around empowering young people to see their own potential- to build upon the knowledge they have already and start to make connections between the familiar and the unfamiliar in such a way that deepens their understanding of the world around them. He aims to work for justice in all aspects of his teaching and life, guided by the belief that all life is valuable and deserves to be cared for, conserved, and given a space in which it can reach its highest potential. 

Jonah Landor-Yamagata

Nursery Manager

Jonah Landor-Yamagata grew up in Berkeley and Oakland. He has worked at Urban Tilth with the Basins of Relations Watersheds Program since 2018. Currently, he manages UT’s Native Plant Nursery to help make sure there are plenty of plants available for the sites that we steward and restore. Jonah has worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer at César Chávez Elementary School in Richmond, in school gardens in Berkeley and as environmental educator bringing  hands-on stewardship programs to many schools in the East Bay. Before joining Urban Tilth, Jonah lived in Germany for five years, where he completed a master’s degree in Urban Ecosystem Sciences at the Technische Universität Berlin.