Meet Milena and Rosmarie of Growing Sense

Rosmarie and Milena kneel on the ground, tending to a landscape project.

Milena Khazanavicius

Milena Khazanavicius lost her sight quickly and unexpectedly at the age of 22 due to diabetic retinopathy. She was forced to give up her career as a floral designer, but she never gave up her love of plants. Ever resilient, Milena moved on to her next endeavour, earning a B.A. in English literature from Dalhousie University.  Aside from embracing everything that feels, sounds, smells, or tastes like adventure, Milena is also involved in many advocacy issues throughout the Halifax area.
 
Her passions run deep in volunteering, particularly with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, where she has volunteered for the past 18 years and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee award. Milena's current passion is volunteering with Frontier College where she tutors young learners in English and math.  
 
Milena believes in removing barriers for individuals with sight loss and in giving back to her community. She's passionate about spending time outdoors as much as possible and believes in the quote: “If there's no chair at the table for you, then bring your own or build one.” – Writer Unknown.

Rosmarie Lohnes

Rosmarie first got her hands dirty growing a vegetable garden as a young child. Now four decades later, she's the proud founder and owner of Helping Nature Heal (HNH), an innovative ecological landscaping company based on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Her mission is to create aesthetically pleasing natural landscapes that protect, heal, and strengthen the environment. Her work includes an eclectic mix of projects from shoreline reconstructions to forest and meadow retreats.

All her designs are fueled by a passion for reconnecting people to the land and the natural world that they live in, whether it's a seasonal potted plant on a high rise balcony or a garden plot in the country producing a four-season harvest.

Rosmarie has a B.A. in Conservation and Environmental Studies from York University with prior studies in Architectural Design and further training in Horticultural Therapy, Ecological Landscape Design, Shoreline Erosion, Master Gardener, and Landscape Management.