You probably know the Conservancy through our nature preserves like Clark, Kellys Run, and Wizard Ranch. Maybe you’ve attended our educational programs or fundraising celebrations. But less often seen is the team of motivated, passionate, and talented people who make it possible for the Conservancy to protect and restore our natural lands and provide opportunities for our community to connect with nature. That’s why we want to introduce you to some of our team members doing critical work for our natural world!
Jess Brown is the Lancaster Conservancy’s Development & Events Manager. She helps raise annual funds through the Conservancy’s major events, including Dine on Harvest Moon and the ExtraGive Save Woods and Water Party. Jess also supports special fundraising campaigns, including Protect & Restore, our ongoing capital campaign.
Q: What led you to work at the Lancaster Conservancy?
A: I’ve known that I wanted be part of an environmental organization for my entire professional career. I grew up in northern York County and spent so much of my childhood playing outside in the woods, between my grandparents’ farm and cabin and our family camping trips all over. I definitely took for granted that I had access to these places to be outside, and as I got older, I realized how lucky I was to have been raised with not only these places and people who enjoyed them, but also with a deep appreciation for our natural world. Caring for nature was always just a part of who we were. Coming to the Conservancy was very serendipitous – I wanted to work for an organization whose mission I believed in outside of work and the opportunity felt like it was the universe saying, “You should be here!” and I’ve never looked back.
Q: What is your favorite part about your role at the Conservancy?
A: My favorite part is getting to interact with supporters of the Conservancy at events – there’s nothing like seeing hundreds of community members who are motivated by the same passions you are all gathered together.
Q: What’s a favorite experience you’ve had on a Conservancy preserve?
A: Not too long after starting at the Conservancy, I joined Keith at Shenks Ferry for a spring ephemerals walk. It was my first time visiting, and the entire experience remains one of my favorite on-preserve memories. Getting to learn about this really unique and magical place from someone who is so obviously passionate about this work alongside other curious community members was pretty special. It was a little cold and a little dreary, but the hike was still full, and people were so excited to learn. I’ve always enjoyed spending time with people who get excited and energized by the same things I do. Our conservation community is pretty special here in Central PA!
Q: What do you want others to know about Lancaster Conservancy, conservation, nature, etc.?
A: I don’t know that I can say it better than the Native American proverb – “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Nature is a beautiful gift, and we have a responsibility to care for it. To me, that’s what is so exciting about being part of the Conservancy – these places that are being protected will be around forever because of actions that people are taking now. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by staff, volunteers, and members of the Conservancy who care enough to take actions today that have direct impact on tomorrow.