Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Laura Bodensteiner - Honoree of the 2012 Mar Vista Community Fall Festival

We in Mar Vista are very proud to declare Laura Bodensteiner, founder of the MVCC Green Committee, to be the 2012 Honoree of the Mar Vista Community Fall Festival.

The Mar Vista community is a very special place, due in large part to the significant number of people who make the choice to donate their time, energy, and talents to  making our community a better place in which to live, work, and play.  Whether  working for local schools, local non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, or grassroots political groups, these people are making a difference in our neighborhoods.   And in the community of Mar Vista volunteers, Laura Bodensteiner stands out, not only for the talents and dedication she brings to her work, but equally for the care and integrity that she manifests in all her commitments and interactions with those of us who have been fortunate enough to work with her.  Sherri Akers, who served as co-chair of the MVCC Green Committee with Laura, put it best in this comment:  “Laura knew something that we didn't – that Mar Vista was already uniquely green. The committee that she founded gave the community a way to find each other and gave us a voice. Laura has imprinted Mar Vista in a way that will last long beyond her time on the board. I am so grateful and honored to be a part of her legacy.”  

Laura Bodensteiner and her husband, Brian, moved to Los Angeles in 2005. They bought their first home in the North Westdale area of Mar Vista and immediately fell in love with the neighborhood. Laura attended the North Westdale Neighborhood Association meetings where she learned about the Mar Vista Community Council. Back then there was an upcoming opening for the Zone 2 Director, so Laura decided to run. She was elected to the position in May 2006. She served as Secretary and Editor of the Mar Vista Community News for her tenure on the board.

In 2008, Laura founded the MVCC Green Committee which seeks to raise awareness of environmental issues and increase sustainability in Mar Vista. Thanks to many community participants, especially Sherri Akers and Jeanne Kuntz, the committee has become a respected source of environmental information and policy throughout the City of Los Angeles. The Annual Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase, organized by the Green Committee, draws thousands of visitors to Mar Vista's sustainable, drought-tolerant and edible gardens. The Green Committee also hosts the Green Tent every Sunday at the Mar Vista Farmers' Market, where guests provide environmental information and tips for "green" living.

During her time in Mar Vista, Laura and Brian started a family. Daughter Gretchen was born in 2007, followed by twin sons Bennett and Wesley in 2009. In 2011, Laura and her family moved to Carlsbad to be closer to Laura's family. She continues to serve as newsletter editor for MVCC and now devotes her volunteer efforts to her children's schools.

Laura earned a Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA in Marine Biology, followed by a Master’s Degree in Marine Science from San Jose State University. She has worked as a Marine Biologist for the federal government, the State of California, and a local non-profit organization. When she's not volunteering, she's busy raising her children and running her own custom stationery business, Tickled Plum.

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