Roots Monthly Giving Spotlight: Erin Jacobson
Where are you from?
I have lived all fifty years of my life in Bel Air, Maryland. Since 2019, though, I have also lived part time in Chestertown, Maryland.
What is your earliest memory of the Eastern Shore?
In the late 70s and early 80s, I camped with my grandparents, mom, and brother at Shad Landing in Pocomoke River State Park. I remember so vividly hiking through the woods to see and listen to birds, identify trees and shrubs, and find paths to the water. The sounds and smells of nature are my happiest childhood memories.
Where do you currently work and/or volunteer?
As a former high school English teacher who taught for almost twenty years, I am currently a teacher specialist working as an instructional coach for Harford County Public Schools.
How did you become involved with conservation work?
I have always felt a strong connection to both animals and plants, and the increased development around my home in the 80s made me focus on protecting habitat for the foxes, butterflies, bees, and songbirds that surrounded me. I started out when I was in school by working on small projects outdoors with environmental clubs, and I later encouraged my own students to see the importance of protecting our natural world by having them observe and write about the creatures and settings through which we walked during class.
How did you first learn about ESLC?
As a graduate of Washington College, I first learned about ESLC while discussing hiking trails during a trip to campus for an alumni weekend.
What is your favorite thing about ESLC?
ESLC really makes a difference by seeking viable solutions and taking action through sustainable partnerships. I think that is what impresses me the most: it is an organization that works collaboratively, not in isolation.
What is something you wish more people knew about ESLC?
I just wish more people knew just how much ESLC accomplishes every year.
What positive changes do you hope to see on the Eastern Shore?
I would like to see continued efforts to increase the planting of native shrubs, trees, and flowers in areas surrounding and throughout communities. Additionally, I hope that more learning opportunities for both children and adults focused on wildlife, waterways, and natural landscapes will become available.
What’s your favorite view on the Eastern Shore?
I actually have two favorite views, both of the Chester River. The first is in Kent County from the flower-filled banks in front of the Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall in Chestertown, and the second is in Queen Anne’s County along the trail of the Conquest Preserve in Centreville.
What makes the Eastern Shore landscape so unique?
The winding waterways reflect sunlight and moonlight onto and through everything to create such unique colors and shadows.
Why do you choose to give to ESLC?
It really is because ESLC makes a difference with meaningful, sustainable initiatives and projects.
What’s your favorite flora or fauna in Maryland?
Since nature photography is one of my hobbies, I would say that blue herons and ospreys along with native viburnums are some of my favorites, but there are so many others. I don’t think that I could pick just one.