To Conserve and Protect
The Brandywine is more than a
scenic and historic waterway. It’s a major source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. Someone has to make sure it
by Josephine Eccel Published March 12, 2010 at 09:33 AM
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This is her third move. At the University of Texas at Austin, she met her husband, a graduate student in psychology, while she was working toward her bachelor’s degree, also in psychology. They moved to California, where Mark pursued post-doctoral work at Stanford University. Sherri took a job as a paralegal doing regulatory work in the environmental section of a pharmaceutical company. She had planned to go into counseling after college, but discovered she enjoyed legal work. With the blessing of her employer, she earned a juris doctor degree at night from the Santa Clara University School of Law.
Evans-Stanton’s two children, Sarah, 21, and Jeffrey, 18, were both born in North Carolina. Sarah is now doing graduate work in psychology in Canada. Jeffrey is a sophomore at the University of Delaware. Like a typical mom, Evans-Stanton jokes that “I see him when he wants to wash his clothes or he needs money—or a home-cooked meal. That always works.”
She credits her friend Robin Karol with helping her make the adjustment to Delaware. “She adopted me,” says Evans-Stanton. Karol sees it differently, however. The day after the two met at Temple Beth Emeth in Wilmington, Karol had surgery, and though they barely knew each other, Evans-Stanton visited Karol every day, delivering homemade meals and encouragement until Karol got back on her feet. Their families have become so close that they own neighboring homes in the Poconos.
Evans-Stanton also connected with the community through her synagogue, serving on the committee that makes care baskets for homebound members and joining the board of the Gratz Hebrew School. ”Her knowledge and ability to jump onto committees and get the job done is something I can rely on,” says Karol. “If she can’t do it, she will tell you. A lot of people will say yes, but then not follow through.”
Evans-Stanton rarely uses “I” when referring to the work the conservancy has accomplished. But she has recently been the prime mover in two significant undertakings. Last year she guided the conservancy to accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance, making it one of the first groups to earn the national seal of approval. It took a year of arduous documentation and comparing current land data with some that were 40 years old.
She also recently became concerned with a federal bill to create a national energy grid that would drive massive power lines through open spaces, including conservancy land on the Brandywine. With the credibility of the conservancy—and her own reputation—Evans-Stanton hopes to get alternative proposals to the table.
“One of the purposes of protecting a property is the scenic vista, and if you look out and see these beautiful rolling hills and all of a sudden you have power lines all over the place, it defeats the purpose of protecting the property,’’ she says. Besides, “With national security being an issue, you would think a national grid would not be a wise thing.”
It’s probably safe to say that with everything the Brandywine Conservancy’s Environmental Management Center is dealing with, a lot of thoughts go through her mind when Evans-Stanton turns on the faucet. And, yes, she says, “I drink tap water.”