Board Members

Gisela F. Ferrer, Founder & President

After a beautiful and fulfilling career as an educator and supervisor in her childhood’s hometown in Hudson County, Ms. Gisela Ferrer decided to return to school and take horticulture classes and participate in Rutgers Cooperative Extension Program. She became a Master Gardener (Sussex County) and is currently working on her Land Stewardship Project creating a sustainable native garden at an elementary school in the Hackensack Public School District.

As the founder of Wild Ones NJ Gateway, she wants to share valuable information and offer sustainable landscape demonstrations to residents, businesspeople, and community leaders so that they may gain knowledge and experience on sound landscaping practices and add biodiversity to various type of outdoor spaces. She strongly believes that gardening with native plants will solve many of our current environmental issues.

Carol McNichol, Vice President

Carol’s career has spanned several fields including public relations and office management. In 2004, she founded Companion Animal Trust, a New Jersey 501c3 non-profit whose focus is on cat rescue and animal welfare. Since retiring in 2016, and in addition to her continued advocacy for cats, she has added a new love of native plants to her repertoire. In 2021, she installed an all-native plant garden on her property in Jersey City, NJ. Now she enjoys her daily walks around the garden admiring plant growth and beneficial insects.

Hailey Benson, Membership & Social Media Chair

Intersectional ecofeminist, sustainable designer, and dedicated activist. As a Hudson County native, Hailey is committed to helping her local community thrive through sustainable initiatives and eco-minded education. They like to create video-based content online to spread the word on how to get involved politically in protecting the environment. They believe knowledge is power and we are power in numbers. They are excited to help others expand their knowledge of native biodiversity in Wild Ones Gateway Chapter’s membership position.