Everyday Environmentalist: Richard I.G. Jones, Jr.

Eco-tip: Richie Jones engages his kids in environmentally conscious decision making around the house – recycling, conserving water and electricity, cutting down on the use of plastic bags – and conservation activities outside too, like cleaning up the Brandywine Creek. He also plans to start biking to work.

Have you always had an interest in conservation?

Richie Jones:

Yes. When I was young, I spent lots of time at my parents’ farm, which was surrounded by the open field and woodlands of the King Ranch. In the mid-1980s, the Brandywine Conservancy pulled together a bunch of local landowners (including my parents) to permanently preserve the Ranch and other surrounding farms through conservation easements. This led me on the conservation path and to involvement with the Brandywine Conservancy and other local land trusts. Today, when I play with my children in the same areas of our family farm that my siblings and I frequented as kids, I see first-hand the impact of environmental conservation on future generations.

How did your career path lead to working with The Nature Conservancy?

Richie Jones:

Eighteen years spent on the frontlines of corporate litigation armed me with strong written and oral advocacy skills and gave me a keen understanding of how corporate America functions at the board level. I’ve also been involved in the organization and management of environmental NGOs for more than a decade. This job marks a natural convergence of my professional skills and an ever increasing devotion to environmental conservation. I am extremely grateful to the staff and Board of Trustees of the Delaware Chapter for giving me this opportunity to serve my community.

What projects have your focus right now?

Richie Jones:

My most immediate task has been getting to know the organization better at every level – global, national, regional and across the state of Delaware. I’ve become especially immersed in the details of the Conservancy’s work across the three Whole Systems involving Delaware – the Delaware River and Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and Coast, and the Chesapeake Bay.

What’s on the horizon for you in the longer-term?

Richie Jones:

First, I plan to continue my predecessor’s excellent work in conserving Delaware’s critical lands and natural heritage. I also hope to expand the Conservancy’s work in coastal marine spatial planning, diadramous fish restoration and fostering Delawareans’ connection to nature.

I see two especially pressing issues and threats facing conservation in Delaware: the present lack of state funding for conservation initiatives, and the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on coastal areas. The Conservancy has the infrastructure, resources and scientific credibility to congregate the Delaware conservation community to speak with a unified voice in advocating for a renewal and perhaps even an increase state funding. Threats posed by climate change and rising sea levels also offer a common rallying point. I look forward to advancing the Conservancy’s mission with regard to both of these areas.

Before joining The Nature Conservancy of Delaware early in 2012, Richie Jones spent 18 years working as an attorney practicing in the field of corporate litigation at the Wilmington law firm of Ashby & Geddes. Richie also brings an understanding of the role non-profit organizations play in land preservation, having served for 14 years on the board and various committees at the Brandywine Conservancy and in other capacities at the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County and the Delaware Nature Society. Richie is a lifelong Delaware resident who enjoys sharing his appreciation for nature with his kids at his parents’ farm in southeastern Pennsylvania.


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