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Faces of Conservation

Q&A with Paul and Carolyn Rizza

Paul and Carolyn Rizza of Mercer County are attracted to The Nature Conservancy because its global reach allows them to contribute to conservation initiatives around the world. The world travelers are committed to world peace, conservation and environmental protection, and helping others who are less fortunate.

We sat down with the Rizzas to learn more about their motivation and approach to conservation.
“It is important to support international conservation work because the world is all connected.  Unless all communities are healthy, there will be wars and disasters which make the world a less safe place for all of us.”

--Paul and Carolyn Rizza, Grove City, Mercer County

Nature.org:

What motivates you as a conservationist?

Paul and Carolyn Rizza:

Both of us have lived with natural areas all our lives and find that they sustain us. At home, we are surrounded by trees and have a wonderful vernal pool in the back that supports a healthy population of frogs. We have lots of colorful birds and we enjoy nature travel. We’ve been to the Galapagos and Antarctica. We have watched polar bears in Canada and wildlife in Kenya. We have cruised the Amazon. All of these things, from the very small and local to the large and far away, are a part of our human heritage, and they should be protected.

Nature.org:

Why do you support The Nature Conservancy?

Paul and Carolyn Rizza:

We like the Conservancy’s emphasis on including the needs of the residents of conserved areas, which helps them to improve their lives while protecting natural areas and wildlife.

Nature.org:

What Conservancy projects do you believe to be the most interesting and/or important?

Paul and Carolyn Rizza:

It is the international programs of the Conservancy that we find the most interesting. It is important to support international conservation work because the world is all connected. Unless all communities are healthy, there will be wars and disasters that make the world a less safe place for all of us. A healthy environment is necessary for healthy communities. It provides a foundation for peace. We are very interested in international issues, and have traveled to many places. We like to see the world being well cared for. The Conservancy’s international program allows us to make a difference in all of these areas.

Nature.org:

You both have been big supporters of programs in Africa. How did your interest in that part of the world develop?

Paul and Carolyn Rizza:

We are particularly interested in programs that touch on places we have visited. That includes a lot of places! We had to pick one, and we picked the Africa Program, specifically the work in the Northern Kenya Rangelands. We had the opportunity to visit this project area and were impressed with the Conservancy’s intent to partner with many other organizations, many of them local, to enhance local capacity. When the opportunity came to obtain some matching funds from the Keller Catalyst Fund for Africa, we decided we would help with that project by making a larger commitment.



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