Helping Hands

About Us


To protect and enhance the environment of Los Altos & Los Altos Hills through community engagement, education, and advocacy while contributing to and leveraging regional and global environmental efforts.

  • Leaving the environment a better place for the next generation

  • Policy and decision-making based on data and scientific research

  • Inclusion and partnership, and conducting our activities in a fair, ethical (and, when appropriate, fun) manner

  • Education, mentorship and the inclusion of youth as much as possible in our activities

  • Honesty and respect when presenting fact-based research and educating our community

  • A clean and healthy environment is vital to the health of our communities.

  • Human activities impact the natural environment and contribute to climate change and pollution that directly affects human health

  • Individual, community and governmental actions can mitigate the negative environmental impacts of human activities

  • We can arrest human caused climate change and environmental degradation by individual, community and legislative action 

Like you, we live here. Like you, we love where we live.

And like you, we’d like to make our community a better place.

Through single and collective actions, we know that’s easy to accomplish



Kris Jensen

Executive Director

As Executive Director, Kris is our quintessential perfect match. The living embodiment of an advocate, starting at age 13 by penning a note to Pres. Reagan protesting removing the White House’s solar panels. He lives sustainably, is a certified permaculture designer, gardens, cooks and does woodwork when he’s not guiding our community efforts. 

Gary Hedden


Gary joined GreenTown in 2011 and now leads the effort to protect our natural resources. That means planting trees, cleaning creeks and advocating for sound conservation policies. He still likes to bike, and leads the Historic Homes Bike Ride, the Native Garden Bike Tour, the Hardy Jones Memorial Bike Ride, and the Summer & Winter Solstice night bike rides.

Suresh Venkatraman

Vice President

Suresh’s daughters’ engagement in environmental causes were a major influence to join GreenTown. Youth all over the world are asking us, the current stewards, to do everything we can to reverse our effect on the planet’s environments and climate. Actions by individuals, communities, and governments must all come together to accomplish this monumental but achievable task. Suresh is passionate that we become acutely conscious of our consumption – from energy to products, from how they are manufactured, packaged to how they are disposed of – and make decisions and take actions to minimize our footprint.

Don Weiden


Don’s career as a civil/environmental engineer and his personal enjoyment in wilderness camping since grade school have led to his interest in minimizing the impacts of our engineered and human activities on the natural environment.   He became interested in GreenTown Los Altos when investigating residential solar panels for his home and is now a proponent of converting vehicles and equipment from using fossil fuels to clean electrical energy.  

Donna Staton


Zero Waste Lead

Donna is a pediatrician, retired from clinical practice, but volunteering full time in the areas of Global Child Health and Environmental Health.  She is eager to share information about the effects of chemicals (especially from plastics) on health, particularly our children’s health and development. Reducing the production and use of plastic means less plastic pollution as well as reduced exposure to chemicals for humans and animals.  A win-win for us AND the planet!

Michele Gerstel

Marketing Lead

Michele admits joining the GreenTown team was a no brainer. Why? Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a team of passionate, brilliant residents working to improve our community’s future? Marketing its programs are just plain fun. Not to mention rewarding. Enough to keep anyone smiling.

Connie Miller

Clean Air Lead

As a Bay Area native and Los Altos resident who has spent her entire life enjoying the abundance of nature our region offers, Connie sees the urgent need to act boldly to create a sustainable and thriving environment for our children. All actions start with one person and grow into a collective wave of change. Connie believes Los Altos and Los Altos Hills are perfectly poised, with their educated residents, affluence and regional influence, to be the leaders of change and leave a lasting positive legacy for our planet. Through GreenTown Los Altos programs, education and policy influence, Connie hopes to be a resource for and inspire positive environmental change in others.

Jana Schlanker

Organization Lead

Jana is our organizational go to. Her smiling face makes it easy to make any request
and know it will be readily handled.  From managing our growing database, organizing volunteers and coordinating events, she has an eye for details that we enjoy having on board.

Cheryl Weiden

Clean Air Lead

Cheryl became an environmental advocate when she became aware of the importance of sustaining the earth for the future of her children.  She met her husband, Don, on a cycling vacation and continues to bike and hike with him, but not backpack.  She is working on decreasing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions through reducing unnecessary vehicle idling.

Linda Ziff

Water Conservation Lead

With so many wonderful opportunities for volunteering in GreenTown Los Altos, Linda has led several. As Water Program Lead, water conservation was a top priority with creek cleanups, drought tolerant gardening activities, greywater workshop and children’s education at the top of the list. Currently, Linda leads the gas leaf blower ban campaign, working with an active group of clean air advocates to support the Los Altos City ordinance banning the use of gas leaf blowers and eliminate their use in our community.