Welcome to Avant Gardener, where I share ideas on the intersection of environmental, criminal and social justice, ways to reconnect in such polarized times, and reflections on what it means to “swim upstream.”

For people, organizations, and systems, I offer the following consulting services in deep collaboration with clients:

  • IMG_6837Meaningful design and facilitation of small and large group convenings
  • Systems-focused strategic planning
  • Organization management and change
  • Leadership development | Coaching
  • PR | Communications | Messaging
  • Advocacy
  • Resource development

After leaving my beloved Insight Garden Program – an evidence-based and nationally recognized environmental and gardening program for people in prison and reentry – my path forward is to co-create sustainable, healthy organizations, communities and ecosystems with a focus on climate action criminal justice reform.  Much of my work is grounded in the wisdom of Peter Block, Fritjof Capra and others in the realm of organization development, community building, systems thinking, and ecoliteracy.

In a society over-focused on retribution, resistance and polarization, I’m in the business of restoration through connection…people, place, and the environment. Positive change happens when the conversations shift from problems to possibility; fear and faults to gifts; and law and oversight to the reweaving social fabric through accountability and ownership.

We can rebuild our communities, organizations and institutions in a way that has positive impacts so people are inspired and passionate about working together – across sectors, ideologies, and race — for a better future.

For more information, feel free to visit my LinkedIn profile here or email me: bethwaitkus [at]

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about…” –Meg Wheatley

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