(PRINCETON, NJ) – Two recent Princeton University graduates have been welcomed into one-year scholarships by D&R Greenway, starting this summer. These scholarships are offered in partnership with Princeton’s AlumniCorps Project 55 program. This program provides exceptional new graduates with opportunities to connect and work with nonprofit organizations. The motto of the AlumniCorps 55 project is “Launch a life of civic leadership”.
This year marks an important milestone, as D&R Greenway welcomes two scholarship recipients for the first time. Heather Callahan of Delaware and Ayame Whitfield of Massachusetts, both graduates of Princeton University in 2021, have been selected for these positions. Linda Mead, CEO and President of D&R Greenway, reveals: “Almost ten years ago, the university contacted D&R Greenway because of the significant increase in student interest in environmental careers. Our land trust was chosen so that Princeton University graduates can engage with a local non-profit organization dedicated to conservation. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with smart, thoughtful and proactive youth as part of our mission. D&R Greenway fully supports the positions financially and thanks the foundation’s donors for helping to fund this work that mentors future conservation leaders.
Ayame Whitfield received her NJA.B., in History of Science, with a Certificate in Visual Arts, from Princeton University in May. Ayame was a 2017 Summer Intern at the Princeton Environmental Institute and Secretary of Ellipses Slam Poetry, from 2019-2021, where she was actively involved in planning Ellipses poetry events and interacting with a wide range of university offices. As Student House Manager, Richardson Auditorium, Ayame coordinated students and professionals, facilitating concerts and other Richardson presentations. She was responsible for creating newsletters to maintain connections during COVID-19 restrictions. Ayame was an intern in the summer of 2019, with Policy Matters Ohio, Cleveland, – a public policy nonprofit, working to improve the lives of working class citizens of Ohio. Ayame will serve D&R Greenway as the Volunteer Coordinator and will use her artistic skills to create exhibits and programs for the new museum that D&R Greenway Land Trust will be opening at Point Breeze, the former Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte Estate, in Bordentown, New Jersey. Ayame explains her mission with D&R Greenway Land Trust: “I am delighted that my work with D&R Greenway gives me the opportunity to bring to bear a wide range of my skills and experience, from art to historical research and writing at volunteer work. and contribute to the incredible preservation work being done here in New Jersey. “
Heather Callahan graduated from Princeton University in 2021 with a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She comes to D&R Greenway with national and international experience. For the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, she worked as a climate and energy division intern. Among his challenges was compiling revisions to the Delaware Weathering Assistance Program Field Guide for submission to the US Department of Energy, which is “dedicated to reimagining and rebuilding the US energy grid.” At the Mpala Research Center in Kenya, Heather collected ecological data on local animals, presenting these findings at the 2019 Princeton Environmental Institute Summer of Learning Symposium. For the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, she conducted fieldwork for research courses in tropical biology. Heather’s primary fieldwork at Princeton included making observations and distributing daily surveys of the effects of the CORONA virus on human behavior. She volunteered for SVC El Centro Core, where she created engaging lesson plans to encourage attendance at Trenton ESL classes. As a 2019/20 Princeton Young Achievers volunteer, Heather has participated in after-school programs for low-income, mostly Spanish-speaking students in the city of Princeton. She adds a “working knowledge of Portuguese” to her speaking, hearing and writing expertise in Spanish. Heather will manage D&R Greenway’s new educational program on the Delaware River and oversee planning for the recreation of gardens at the former Joseph Bonaparte Estate of Point Breeze in Bordentown.
Heather reveals, “In the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, I have spent a lot of time learning about the incredible biodiversity of our planet. However, as I delved deeper, I realized the myriad of ways in which development threatens – not only these species, but also various aspects of human life, from our food system to our ability to access food. clean water and recreation areas. passionate, but also offers New Jersey people the opportunity to live healthy and happy lives, even in one of the most densely populated places in the country. “
Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $ 50 to $ 100 per month, click here for more information
Past D&R Greenway Fellows included Allegra Lovejoy, whose work established Capital City Farm in Trenton under the direction of D&R Greenway; Kelsey Kane-Ritsch who coordinated the first River Days celebrations for the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River; and Nadeem Demian who expanded D&R Greenway’s community conservation work and established the land trust partnership with the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Most recently, Maria Stahl, the 2020-2021 Fellow, created an educational webinar series on the Delaware River and aided land trust stewardship work, engaging family groups with the planting of over 1,600 trees during the pandemic. She led D&R Greenway’s very first masquerade parade, a successful alternative to trick-or-treat during the pandemic, which will repeat itself in 2021. Maria evaluated her experience at D&R Greenway – “I joined D&R Greenway as passionate about the environment but without much real world conservation experience. Over the year, I have learned so much from everyone at D&R Greenway about all the hard work and passion that goes into doing the job they do – preserving and protecting the land for generations to come. In the midst of the pandemic, this was especially important as more people were using our trails than ever before. Looking back, I’m especially happy that I was able to provide the students of FUTURO with a means to come together and collaborate on projects – first with their float for the Masquerade Parade and later with an educational series on the Delaware River watershed. It has been a year like no other, and I feel very lucky to have spent it with D&R Greenway.
D&R Greenway’s mission to preserve and care for the land and to inspire an ethic of conservation is reinforced by mentoring future leaders, another way for D&R Greenway to have a greater impact on the environment at the level local and beyond.
D&R Greenway Land Trust, an accredited nonprofit organization, has saved nearly 21,200 acres of land in New Jersey since its founding in 1989. Preserving land for life and creating public trails offers everyone the opportunity to enjoy the great air. The land trust’s preserved farms and community gardens provide local organic food to neighbors, including those in need. The strategic conservation and stewardship of D&R Greenway lands combats climate change, protects wildlife and ensures clean drinking water for future generations. D&R Greenway’s mission is to connect the earth with people from all walks of life. D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center, home to its art galleries in Princeton, is closed to the public, to ensure health and safety, during the COVID emergency.
PHOTO: (L to R) Ayame Whitfield, Heather Callahan, at the Gardener’s House, Joseph Bonaparte’s Point Breeze Estate, Bordentown, New Jersey. Photo by Doug Kiovsky