Lisa Taranto is an explorer of ecology and the dynamic elegance of nature and natural systems. She holds more than three decades of study, practice, curiosity, and adventures in ecology, art and design. Currently she is the Head of Horticulture at Menla Retreat Center, in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. Menla is nestled in 320 acres of diverse and secluded wild land. For six years she has been physically engaged with this remote valley, learning from its wide range of ecosystems–from the highly cultivated to the pure wild. She has initiated ecological restoration work, bringing the land back to a more balanced state, allowing the native seed bank to flourish, and planted hundreds of saplings. She has implemented highly designed and efficient systems, from plant propagation to exquisite gardens. She has guided and taught hundreds of guests and volunteers. As an artist, once upon a time, she was awarded a residency at the prestigious Anderson Ranch in Aspen, Colorado. She continues to creatively work with a variety of media, including the land. Strong of imagination, she works towards a world where all ecosystems are restored, and humanity lives in a kind and interdependent dance with nature, and individuals are connected to their places. Lisa has worked in the philanthropic, public, and private sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.