Philadelphia Parks Expert Joins the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center
I am thrilled to join the National Wildlife Federation’s Mid-Atlantic office as the new Senior Manager of Education and Community Conservation programs. My first few months have been a whirlwind of learning – getting to know the people, programs, partners, and projects that make the National Wildlife Federation the vital organization that it is.
No Stranger to the Region
After living and working in Philadelphia for 20 years, I am most excited to work with partners and community members across the Mid-Atlantic region. Collaborating across cities to share resources, ideas, and successes is a powerful tool to advance our conservation goals.
For the last ten years, I have been deeply embedded in Philadelphia’s environmental community. I completed my Masters of Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, partnering with the US Forest Service’s Urban Field Station to research how community stewardship of street trees affected growth and mortality rates.
After graduating, I joined the TreePhilly program at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, where I launched a mini-grant program that helped local organizations hand out free trees to their neighbors. I later joined Fairmount Park Conservancy to focus on expanding volunteer opportunities in the city’s public parks and creating avenues for residents to engage with and steward their local green spaces.
National Wildlife Federation’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Center education and community conservation team focuses on wildlife habitat and water quality in urban centers like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, specializing in implementing on-the-ground projects with community partners that both create wildlife habitat and build community capacity to combat climate change.
We also help communities connect to some of the National Wildlife Federation’s national education and conservation programs, including Eco-Schools, Garden for Wildlife, Community Wildlife Habitat, and the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge. This year, we are also bringing the National Wildlife Federation’s Sacred Grounds program to Delaware. Over the next two years, our goal is to install native pollinator gardens at 20 houses of worship in Wilmington.
I am particularly excited to continue bringing National Wildlife Federation’s resources to my hometown of Philadelphia. We are expanding our partnership with the School District of Philadelphia to bring climate change education into the classroom. This partnership will provide professional development for teachers and hands-on project sustainability project opportunities for students. We also look forward to continuing our partnership with Audubon Pennsylvania and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to create pollinator habitats on vacant lots in West Philly after a successful pilot project.
I’ve also been inspired by our vacant lot work in Baltimore, where our place-based community partners are working hard to bring new resources and amenities to their neighborhoods. Our partnership with the Druid Heights CDC to bring the Elijah Cummings Nature Play Space to life established a model for resiliency-based community greening that we hope to replicate across the region.
The work NWF is doing across the Mid-Atlantic Region is a critical piece of the conservation puzzle, combining hyper-local actions with ambitious regional initiatives and federal advocacy efforts. I look forward to being part of this incredible team and working towards our mission to unite Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world.