Gabriella Velardi-Ward, BFA, AAS, B. Arch, M. Theo coursework- has been an artist, photographer, architectural designer, construction supervisor and has been an ordained priest since July of 2008. As part of her Architecture degree she studied architectural design, sustainable design, ecology, landscape design and urban planning. She also studied design of wood, steel and concrete structures. After acquiring her Bachelor of Architecture degree, she spent two years as a member of the Pratt Institute Board of Trustees advocating for women’s rights, student’s rights and foreign student’s rights. She worked for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) for 23 years as an architectural designer and construction supervisor. As an architectural designer, she represented the Parks Department to the Mayor’s Office of Construction for Sustainable Construction and helped formulate policy, city wide, for large public projects, requiring them to incorporate sustainability in design and construction. As a designer she designed the Willowbrook Carousel Pavilion and as a construction supervisor she supervised construction at Gracie Mansion as well as at Midland Beach before, during and after Hurricane Sandy.
She is the co-founder of the Coalition for Wetlands and Forests, a coalition of Staten Island environmental groups, civic associations, condo associations and people who care. Its current focus is to stop the destruction of the Graniteville Swamp aka the Graniteville Wetlands and Forests. If we lose this forested wetland, this environmental justice community and a nearby mobile home community of elderly, disable and low- income people will be at high risk of flooding.
Her membership and leadership in many social justice venues as well as her knowledge of design and construction, have made her uniquely suited to lead the Coalition for Wetlands and Forests.