By Zachary Gotthardt
SC Staff Writer
On Friday, April 17, the Biology Club will sponsor ESU alumna Laura Baird’s presentation on the Heritage Conservancy. The presentation will take place at 4:00 PM in Kurtz Lecture Hall of Moore Biology. Baird will speak about her work at the conservancy and how ESU students can pursue a similar career.
The Heritage Conservancy is an accredited land trust based in Bucks County. According to their website, their mission is to “preserve and protect our natural and historic heritage.”
The conservancy takes a community-focused approach to conservation. To this end, they hope to protect open spaces and natural resources for the sake of the Bucks County community. They believe that their national accreditation proves their dedication to helping the environment. The Heritage Conservancy is one of only 201 land trusts nationwide to receive this honor.
The conservancy provides many services for the community as a non-profit organization. First and foremost, they are focused on conservation of natural areas and open space.
Any municipality that wishes to do the same can contact the Heritage Conservancy to assist with planning. Specifically, they offer services in trail planning, river conservation, open space preservation, and community planning.
The Heritage Conservancy also focuses on preserving historic sites around Bucks County. They encourage members of the community to research the history of their neighborhood. The conservancy provides the resources to research historic areas.
Currently, they have several large-scale projects in the works.
Many types of amphibians have a high mortality rate due to motor vehicles, and the conservancy hopes to mitigate this problem. They are also currently working to preserve a swamp in Quakertown.
As part of an ever-growing conservation initiative, the conservancy is assisting with the restoration and preservation of bat populations in Bucks County. To preserve the history of Bucks County, the Heritage Conservancy is attempting to maintain historic rural townhouses in the area.
Laura Baird is an East Stroudsburg University alumna and a graduate of the Biology Program. During her time here, she double majored in biology and environmental science.
Her presentation will focus on how students with a similar educational background can pursue a career in conservation.
Currently, Baird is the Senior Land Conservationist on staff at the Heritage Conservancy. Her primary responsibility is to negotiate acts of land preservation and protection.
To accomplish this, she must write grants, meet with landowners, and prepare documents about the affected areas. Understanding and constructing such documentation often requires a wealth of knowledge.
Community outreach is also becoming increasingly necessary in the environmental field.
Prior to working at the conservancy, Baird worked as a community planner for Monroe County, where she managed the County Agricultural Land Preservation Program.
Biology students graduating from the program will have similar educational credentials and can pursue similar careers. Anyone interested in environmental protection or environmental policy is encouraged to attend the presentation. Refreshments will be provided.
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