Ally Rodgers

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Please remind us, what was your position when you worked with us at Phillips Wharf? *
Americorps Intern
What are you doing now? Please be specific, we want to brag about what you are up to these days.
I am starting my second year as the Crew Leader on an organic vegetable farm in Southern Maryland. I'm also working part time taking care of the horses at the equestrian facility where I live.

Why do you think Phillips Wharf and its mission is important?

I have always believed that you cannot properly care about something unless you have experienced it in some way. Phillips Wharf helps people of all ages experience the glory of the Chesapeake Bay, from the small newborn horseshoe crabs all the way up to the huge fisheries industry that our state relies on. PWEC helps the Bay become real and alive for people lucky enough to visit the Eastern Shore of MD.

How did working/volunteering with Phillips Wharf impact you?

Working at PWEC instilled in me a love of all the creatures of the Chesapeake that I believe can only be gained by being directly responsible for their care. It was also my first position working in environmental education/interpretation, and while it was inspiring to study those theories in college, working at PWEC helped me realize it takes someone very special to really get the public to CARE about the Bay. I learned that I feel called to play a more "background" role, and my respect for people who work full time in environmental education grew expontially.

Can you share a story about an event or a moment when you felt like Phillips Wharf made a difference for someone?

No one specific story comes to mind, but there were many days on the Fishmobile where I got to witness people (not just children!) experiencing the creatures of the Bay up close and personal for the first time in their lives. People who didn't even know what a horseshoe crab was, getting to see and squeal over one of our big, beautiful females, and work up the nerve to touch her underside with all her wiggling legs. People who didn't know what a terrapin was (!), touching them and admiring their beauty. I got to witness the Bay come to life for the first time for so many people.

Since your time at Phillips Wharf, what have you done? Share with us some of the neat experiences you’ve had since you left.

Directly after Phillips Wharf I had a bit of a quarter life crisis and tried my hand at working with horses full time. I spent two years as the head groom and barn manager for a young Eventing professional up in New Jersey. She had just bought an incredible upper level horse and we got to go to a couple of really cool events up and down the east coast. I came home to Maryland in 2018 and started my job on the vegetable farm where I still work. The tomatoes are my new terrapins, and I love each plant like I loved each creature at PWEC.

Making a donation to our #GivingTuesdayNOW campaign means supporting education!  The funds used from this campaign will allow us to adapt our education programs so that we may continue to offer interactive environmental education experiences.

To check out other past intern and staff individual responses please click on their name:

Dear Phillips Wharf Environmental Center Supporter,

I want to share with you how Phillips Wharf Environmental Center is pivoting towards new horizons that strengthen our longevity into the future and make our educational programs much more accessible to diverse audiences.

In Phillips Wharf’s 14-year history – two challenges have remained constant—the rising costs of maintaining a waterfront campus and old buildings, and addressing the inaccessibility of Tilghman Island to many school systems and others unable to afford the cost or the time for the long trip from more urban areas like Easton.

With this in mind, Phillips Wharf’s Board of Directors have made a bold decision to ensure the sustainability of our future and educational programs by liquidating our assets on Tilghman Island—including the real estate and property—and re-focus the expected gains from the sale to re-open a location in Easton that the Board will determine.

Be assured—Phillips Wharf will always bring our students to meaningful interactions with the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem and inhabitants. We know technology and our FishMobile, for example, can bring experiences and education to more students when we can focus our operations more on education, and less on maintaining an underutilized campus with mounting deferred maintenance costs and more.

Phillips Wharf will continue to carry the essence of encouraging, educating, and engaging Chesapeake Bay stewards from a new location soon. In addition, we’ll be sure to share this exciting news when it comes to fruition with you.

In the meantime, thank you for caring about our students and the Chesapeake Bay as a natural resource and source of healthy seafood and productive jobs for the Shore’s residents. We are excited to bring the Chesapeake Bay closer to our students and the public in ways that are more meaningful. This is a bold step forward not only in Phillips Wharf’s survivability, but also in our thrivability.

Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have. You can reach me at [email protected] or 410-886-9200.

Warmest regards,

 

Matthew Albers

Board President, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center