Sue Bridge is Wildside’s founder.
Some years ago, Sue began to understand that the ripple effects of climate change and human over-population are likely to present future generations with a very difficult world. Her initial thought was to build a homestead to see if deep green living as currently understood could be a practical reality for herself, and thus perhaps a way for others, to gain greater personal control of their food and energy supplies. Early on, though, as dozens of people heard of what she was attempting and asked to visit, it became clear that Wildside should be open to the public.
In 2013 Sue transferred ownership to Wildside Cottage & Gardens Inc, a 501(c)(3) corporation. With no children of her own, she believes that “All children are my children.” This shift in ownership ensures that Wildside will be managed as the exciting experimental site and teaching platform it has become, long into the future.
Sue takes special pleasure in Wildside’s hands-on approach. The Wildside project follows a lifetime of pro-social engagements at the United Nations, teaching at university, working at the Christian Science Monitor, and supporting health care reform and environmental causes. But something was lacking. All this work involved urging others to change: to distribute wealth, cease polluting, stop wars, legislate solutions and so forth. At Wildside she feels there is a deeper joy in communicating by example — learning to manage the cottage’s solar-powered systems through high heat and deep cold, understanding the usefulness of a composting toilet, and out on the land, planning, watching, planting, nurturing, keeping notes, replanting, preserving, studying, sharing.
Alex is a Conway resident and longtime Wildside volunteer extraordinaire, who also has had several years’ experience on the board of a family foundation.
In July 2021, Anna Maclay began a three-year tenure as Resident Steward at Wildside, with her loyal dog, Amos, and the part-time company of her two teenage children, Leora and Gabriel. She comes to Wildside with eighteen years of experience in farming and farm management at Natural Roots, a horse-powered vegetable farm also located in Conway.
Tom Bridge owns Durango Nursery and Supply in Durango, CO, specializing in native and xeric plants, soils and soil amendments. He has worked in mining in the Yukon, fishing in Alaska, and has owned a hydroponic vegetable production company. Now in his seventies, with a new knee and a new shoulder, he has scaled back (a little) on a lifetime of extreme sports, notably downhill and cross-country skiing and mountain biking. He is Sue’s bionic brother.