Retired Park Ranger Building Connections for the Evansville Community:
Meet Heidi Doss – Market on Main Leader
Where do you go to find extraordinary talent to design and grow a weekly outdoor market? This year’s Market on Main Leader is Heidi Doss, a retired Park Ranger that has a passion for all things outdoors.
“I’ve served most of life as an outdoor educator for a variety of parks across the country.” Heidi has held the
role of Education Coordinator at the Acadia National Parks in the state of Maine as well as local parks in this area, such as Audubon State Park and Wesselman Woods.
As a park ranger for the National Parks Service, Heidi led programs that involved working with school groups and teaching the public how to preserve and protect magnificent places so that everyone can have the opportunity to visit. “It was a wonderful job. It was an added bonus to see the sunsets each day. So much darn fun!.” She’s not only well versed in National Parks, but she also has a passion for growing food and connecting communities with locally sourced products.
“I think it’s important to purchase food that’s close to home. That’s why I’m passionate about connecting this community with locally produced items. It’s a win for both the consumer and the farmer.” Market on Main is committed to being a producer-direct venue. All items sold must be grown, produced, or created by the vendor or vendor cooperative within a 100-mile radius of Vanderburgh County.
“There’s still a lot of work to do to help bring in more vendors,” says Heidi, “We want to continue to stay true to the market idea. We want the majority of vendors to be food related, but we also want to continue to include products like soaps, candles and art.”
This year’s Market on Main is filled with a variety of locally sourced items like, produce, honey, meat, flowers and even a cinnamon roll maker. The free event also sponsors live music and education stations from Wesselman Woods and the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Talon Trust, which is dedicated to the conservation of native raptors. Visit marketonmainevv.com/meet-our-vendors for a full list of vendors.
You might be surprised to learn that the roadside stands in Evansville could be sourced vegetables from another state. It is common to see vendors drive to multiple areas and buy produce at auctions and then resell at pop up stands. “One of our goals is to support local growers,” says Heidi. “I see that growing local and buying local is going to become more important as each year passes.”
Transporting food from various locations is leaving a heavier carbon footprint when compared to locally sourced products. The cost to transport these goods is increasing, which can also have an impact on how much you pay for food. Heidi is no stranger to how this impacts the climate crisis too. “We need to think about the ways we can stop contributing to the atmosphere,” says Heidi. “One way our community can help support this initiative is to buy local.”
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