Officers & Staff

China Bushell: Executive Director

China grew up in a world of food and plants. Her mother and dad are both prominent chefs, restaurant owners and gardeners. At an early age, because of the mixed ethnicities of her parents (her mom is half Chinese and half Trinidadian; her dad’s mother is from Spain and his father is from Puerto Rico); vegetables, fruits and plants always fascinated her. The sustainability of food — how it’s created, grown, utilized and recycled, has always peaked her interest. Prior to gardening, China operated and owned a restaurant serving the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She then started volunteering at a garden in the public school near her home in Harlem where her love for gardening with children developed. “There is only one thing better than having my hands in soil — it is having many little hands in soil!” China has transformed the Roosevelt Island Living Library into a vibrant hands-on educational space.

Luke Daenen: Projects Coordinator

Luke has been a garden teacher with A.L.L. and previously worked as part of the Greening of Detroit’s landscape team. An Architecture graduate from the University of Cambridge with professional design experience, Luke has an interest in landscape design and incorporating student led design projects into A.L.L.’s curriculum and programs. They also come to garden education with experience working in Special Education, as a paraprofessional in public schools as well as with play-based ABA therapy with autistic youth through the Center For Social Dynamics. Luke has an interest in dance film production and volunteers in the Bay Area dance community as well as various mutual aid organizations.

Mega Dames: San Francisco Project Director

Mega joined the A.L.L team in the Summer of 2022. She is a gardener, naturalist, environmentalist, musician and lover of all things wild. Mega earned a B.A. in Child Development from San Francisco State University in 2013 and has been working in education ever since. They previously taught and operated a forest preschool program throughout public parks in San Francisco for five years. Mega also created and facilitated music class curriculum for young children for several years in Oakland, CA and in 2018 promoted their children’s music album on a bicycle tour playing music in preschool classrooms across the Midwest. Mega is excited to be a part of the A.L.L team and combine their love for education and plants into the programs and gardens A.L.L has at San Miguel Early Childhood Learning Center and Denman Middle School. Mega is looking forward to developing programs that inspire children and youth to not only love and respect but to also defend the wild creatures and spaces of San Francisco as well as the world.

Marius Samso Lucas: San Francisco Teaching Coordinator

Originally from Barcelona, Catalonia, Marius is a certified Biology Teacher who has focused his career in conservation and environmentalism. He is also a Professional Gardener, with two Masters Degrees in Agriculture for Development and Ecological Agriculture.

As Pedagogical Coordinator of A Living Library in San Francisco, Marius Samso Lucas designs A.L.L. Curriculum for educational activities for children, youth, and adults. He also supports the Founder & Director in creating and maintaining partnerships with schools and community-based organizations.

Additionally, Marius helps train other A.L.L. Educators to provide Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards utilizing natural systems and diverse green skills. Through hands-on educational activities, PreK-12 youth participate in making a greener city by creating and maintaining urban gardens and landscapes at several San Francisco Unified School District sites and the streets that surround them in the Islais Creek Watershed, which also helps to create A.L.L. Nature Walks interconnecting the Watershed communities. As a way to increase water absorption and prevent flooding during the rainy season, A Living Library has been planting CA native trees and understory plants for decades, creating resilient landscapes linking diverse community resources including schools.

In 2020, Marius, with the Founder & Director, introduced Biochar through the Local Carbon Network to help develop the diverse, themed Learning Zones in A Living Library. This composting technique has been used historically by Indigenous Communities in the Americas as a form of fire prevention and is used as a productive, agricultural technique.

In addition to his knowledge and passion for farming and sustainability, Marius focuses on literacy and language learning as a tool to communicate with a diverse community of people, as he is fluent in five languages.

Since the beginning of his career, he has focused his energy in making environmental education available to youth from low-income families and communities. Before joining with A Living Library, Marius spent six months supporting El Centro Campesino de Intercambio Tecnologico in Nicaragua, an agricultural center where locals could share tools, ideas and resources to attain more sustainable practices and ambitious goals. He then worked as a program director at Escola Viver Castell de Sant Foix, a vocational gardening school in Barcelona, providing professional training to immigrants and youth who had been excluded from the mainstream school system, providing hands-on education and vocational training.

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