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Conservation Efforts

Leadership

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Greg Williams (left) and Cynthia Potter (right)

Greg Williams graduated from the University of Kansas and first started teaching in California, where he fell in love with Point Reyes National Seashore as he took classes there for week-long stays. He eventually taught himself how to be an environmental educator and science teacher at Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley and in Ohio and Philadelphia.  He created programs for several schools where kids did habitat restoration and made management decisions for school land. In retirement, he felt compelled to do what he could to reverse the damage of climate change and served on the Board of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light for 6 years where he formed a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to plant and distribute native trees and shrubs throughout Pennsylvania.

Cynthia Potter graduated from Penn State and became the first naturalist at Penn State's Shavers Creek Environmental Center. She specialized in wildflower 'walks and talks' there and still loves learning and teaching about plants. She also has a strong interest in birds, reptiles, and amphibians and a passionate interest in moths and butterflies and has provided most of these natural history photos. She tries to walk 4-5 miles everyday on a portion of the Lower Trail and, from Spring to Fall does citizen science reporting on iNaturalist on the moths and butterflies, both adults and larvae, that she finds there, and at night, on our back porch and has identified over 350 different species and continues to try and find more. 

Both Greg and Cynthia find great joy, excitement, and spirituality in being in the natural world and getting to know the flora and fauna of the Williamsburg area while doing what they can to help the natural world heal the planet. Greg first started recruiting volunteers for habitat restoration on the Lower Trail in November of 2016. Since then, hundreds of volunteers have worked to remove non-native invasive plants and plant or distribute over 15,000 native trees and shrubs.

Partnerships and Projects

Williamsburg has partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) since 2018, and the Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (PA IPL) since the Fall of 2019. The PA IPL and CBF are both non-profit organizations that promote wildlife restoration in response to climate change. The two organizations provide materials for removing invasive plants and planting native species, including trees and shrubs, tubes, and stakes. 

Volunteers on the Lower Trail working on a tree planting project
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