My heart belongs to the Nightingale community garden in Dorchester, and I have a close second, the Woolson community garden in Mattapan...they both have truly transformed their communities for the better.
– Vidya Tikku, Vice President of Urban Outdoors
Meet Vidya Tikku
What do you do at Trustees? What’s your role?
I work as the Vice President of Urban Outdoors. My responsibilities include the oversight and management of the Boston portfolio including the network of 56 community gardens and parks, Governor Hutchinson’s Field, Pierce Reservation and the Boston Waterfront Initiative.
What brought you to the Trustees?
I came to the Trustees through a merger with the Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN). I started working at BNAN at the recommendation of Wes Ward, former Trustees VP of Land & Community Conservation in 2005, which was followed rather quickly by an affiliation between the two organizations in 2006 and a full merger in 2014.
Do you have a favorite property?
My heart belongs to the Nightingale community garden in Dorchester, and I have a close second, the Woolson community garden in Mattapan. The creation of both faced unique challenges but I believe they both have truly transformed their communities for the better.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I love traveling–both internationally or trips with several days’ worth of drives. Growing hot peppers, letting my mind wander, and hanging out with close friends also rise to the top.
What are you excited about that The Trustees is working on?
Urban Outdoors. Haha!
Who is your favorite AAPI author/artist?
I love reading the writings of Mirza Ghalib. I discovered him first during the first throes of teenage crushes, but my love has grown with what I feel is a shared appetite for mildness, and delivering mad passion, mildly–in humor, irreverence, day-to-day acts of living, and in love (of mangoes).
What are some books, movies or podcasts you’d recommend people enjoy to learn about Indian History and Culture?
My family is originally from Kashmir (yep, the trigger for all the India-Pak wars). I haven’t been able to visit since 1986 because of the terrorism there directed towards Kashmiri hindus since. A couple of movies that came close to being authentic:
The Kashmir Files, 2022
And a few more flavors:
Gangs of Wasseypur
Malgudi Days, RK Narain
The Blue Umbrella, Ruskin Bond
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri