“We can’t have nature if people don’t care.”
Inspiration for Work
Baltimore native, Marlo Atkinson, is passionate about mending the gap between people and our environment. As a child, Marlo was inevitably drawn to nature. Her mom would joke that she could be entertained for hours with just a pile of dirt and the outdoors. Growing up outside guided Marlo to a path in urban ecology. But on top of her love for protecting wildlife, she also recognizes the important role people play in our ecosystems. Marlo asserts that “we can’t have nature if people don’t care”. Today, as a Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coordinator, she works to connect people with each other and their environment.
One area where Marlo has seen the power of collaboration is in the Southern Baltimore community. For this project, she helped bring the community together to revitalize their park. By making connections with partners like the American Planning Association, a design and collective vision was created. The park has already started phase one of revitalization which aims to integrate a pollinator garden, walking path, and new benches. Marlo says it has been exciting to see the community empowered and moving forward.
Insights from the Women in Conservation Leadership Summit
Participating in the National Wildlife Federation 2018 Women in Conservation Leadership summit, helped Marlo get comfortable with being vulnerable. She finds that personal experiences should be included in our professional elevator pitches. Further, she learned that sharing our goals with those who support us, can help keep us accountable.
Advice to Other Women in Conservation
She advises that goals should be attainable while also addressing aspects of personal life like family and relationships. Marlo encourages women to find allies within their respective career field who support these goals. She believes that these allies should “stand up and support you even when you are not in the room.” Overall, Marlo is an advocate for building relationships in all aspects of her life.