Family travel got Felicity hooked on nature at the young age of 4 or 5 when visiting the state’s natural areas, including the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge where she witnessed her first bald eagle. Says Laird, “I’ve been to some big cities, but I’m always happiest in places where I can tromp through woods or watch whales . . . . or even check out some interesting bugs.”
A self-described “nature junkie,” Felicity Laird has always been aware of The Nature Conservancy. However, she didn’t get a first-hand look until an undergraduate course led her to participate in a work day at the Conservancy’s Ponders Tract Trails System. A few days of thinning pine trees and clearing trails led her hoping to learn more about the organization.
Felicity got her wish not long after graduation. Since last fall, she has been working as an intern assigned to help with office operations and work on projects representing new directions for the chapter.
One project which has Felicity’s focus includes helping the chapter bring the Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program to Delaware. Currently serving eight states, LEAF works with high schools to combine classroom lessons with real-world conservation work experience for urban youth.
“I am helping to identify a high school that would be appropriate for bringing this program to our state,” says Laird, who is thrilled to put her new Natural Resources and Environmental Studies degree to work. “I’m also helping to develop projects these interns might tackle if things come together for next summer, including the establishment of a system of trails to connect several parks located in New Castle County.”
Felicity will also help the Delaware chapter gear up for Earth Day, which takes place on April 22nd and focuses on a “Picnic for the Planet” theme.
“We're very fortunate that Felicity is joining our staff at a time when we’re working hard to engage a new generation of supporters and to connect those living and working in Delaware’s cities and towns with the state’s unique natural landscapes,” says Richie Jones, the Conservancy’s Delaware State Director. “The fact that she's pursuing a career in environmental conservation after working on one of our preserves really demonstrates the power of getting people involved in nature at an early age."