Faces of Conservation

"I once had the opportunity to view some of the Conservancy’s preserves from a small plane. It was the first time I witnessed the scale of what the Delaware chapter has achieved – the magnitude of what we have accomplished is incredible. Closer to the ground, I love the forests and bogs in the Blackbird-Millington Corridor. It’s a landscape that evokes the Delmarva Peninsula for me and it’s very special."

Roberta Brown first became aware of The Nature Conservancy as a member of her high school’s Cave Club almost fifty years ago. That’s when she learned about the acquisition of a property that included cave habitat. It resonated with her.

The Conservancy came to her attention again years later as a newlywed who had traded spelunking for sailing as a favorite outdoor activity. During one of many excursions taken with her husband on the Chesapeake Bay, a visit with a relative living in Virginia revealed beautiful photos from Nature Conservancy magazine. It sparked memories of first learning about the Conservancy as a teenager.  

After that, she became a member, now for twenty-five years and counting. That membership eventually transformed into action when her employer, Delmarva Power, sought someone to follow in the footsteps of previous executives who had served on the Conservancy’s Delaware Chapter Board of Trustees.

“I raised my hand high on that day and I’m glad that I did because the Conservancy continues to be an organization I believe in deeply and support as a volunteer and as a donor,” says Brown, who currently serves as the Board of Trustees Vice Chair in Delaware.

Brown also serves on the Conservancy’s Trustee Council, which acts as a liaison between local chapters and the Conservancy’s national board. This role is fueled by an interest in the organization’s wider national and international work, as well as a professional interest in corporate governance.   

“Bugs and bunnies and plants and hurricanes don’t know state boundaries and so keeping a finger on the pulse of what goes on beyond Delaware’s borders is important,” adds Brown. “That said, the state chapters are the roots and foundation of this organization – they keep it going strong.”

Most recently her involvement at the state, national and international levels has brought her attention to the Conservancy’s work with regard to freshwater conservation, pointing out, “I am inspired by projects going on in places like Quito, Ecuador, or closer to home in New York or Maine, which can directly benefit our work in Delaware. That’s one of the many strengths of The Nature Conservancy.”


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