Dear Freind of Phillips Wharf,
I hope this email finds you well. I would like to thank you for being a member of Phillips Wharf Environmental Center. The generous support of our members makes all the wonderful things happening here possible. I hope that you are aware of recent events and are pleased with the progress that we are making.
Some of our important accomplishments are:
- New Classroom - The new classroom arrived and is in use. Its obvious purpose is a classroom, but it will also be used for our offices and housing our year-round live Bay animal exhibits.
- Campus - If you have driven by recently, you have noticed that our campus is undergoing a dramatic transformation. We have integrated geo-pavers/reinforced turf, and have an area of porous asphalt and concrete for parking, all to make our campus greener. A walking path has also been added for viewing future conservation landscaping.
- Animal Care - Every year we keep a collection of about 30 different Chesapeake Bay critters. This is a vital component in fulfilling our mission to educate our community with hands-on encounters with native wildlife. During their stay here, your financial support helps to keep the animals fed and their tanks clean and running.
- New employees - We were sad but proud to say goodbye to Kayla as she moved on to graduate school. However, we are happy to welcome two new people in her place. Marisa Moon is our new Education Director and TJ Himmelman is our new Aquarist/Aquaculture Manager. Together they will take care of day-to-day operations at Phillips Wharf, educate our youth and community about the Bay, and help us grow in our mission.
As we look forward to the next year, we are focusing most of our attention on education. Since we moved to our new campus three years ago, our educational programming has expanded, growing over 300% in the last year alone. We recently contacted over 1,200 schools, to tell them about the wonderful education programs that we offer at our campus and aboard our traveling learning center, the beloved FishMobile.
We continue to take steps to increase the success of our primary mission: providing dynamic learning experiences focused on the Chesapeake Bay, its flora and fauna, the environmental challenges it faces, and what each of us could change in our daily lives to help foster a greater sense of stewardship towards promoting a cleaner, more productive Bay. We are dedicated to offering educational opportunities to all ages, with many programs covering a variety of topics. These vary in length: some lasting a few hours, some lasting a day for younger children, others offering full curriculums to high school students, college students and adults.
As you can see, exciting things are happening at Phillips Wharf Environmental Center! We are dedicated to hands-on, experiential outdoor and environmental learning for all ages. We hope that you will come to know us better, and we welcome you to renew your membership and participate in our programs. Our members provide their time, talent and very important financial support to help us reach our goals. The future of the Bay depends on a well-educated and involved citizenry to sustain our communities. Your gifts help us feed the animals, keep the pumps running, leverage the valuable time and talent of our volunteers, grow and improve our campus and its programs, and pay our growing professional staff. We hope you will travel on this journey with us - to ensure that both children and adults connect to, understand, and value the Bay; and to protect the Bay as a livelihood and place of renewal for everyone living on her shores.
Kelley Phillips Cox