Lara Jennings - Land Advisor and Conservation Services
Growing up on a farm, Lara Jennings knew she wanted to help farmers and those who appreciate the great outdoors. She attended the University of Delaware because learning more about the environment and natural ecosystem processes would allow her to help landowners manage their properties. Lara graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation while also completing a senior thesis research project focused on wildlife and farming interactions as well as assisting on several graduate student projects. After completing study abroad programs in Costa Rica and Tanzania, she has a broader understanding and appreciation for global wildlife populations and different cultural farming communities and challenges.
Lara began her professional career working for the State of Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) in their newly developed Private Lands Assistance Program in the Division of Fish and Wildlife. The Private Lands Program helped large landowners (i.e., farmers) convert marginal farmland and timber stands into wildlife habitat using conservation practices with financial incentives. She then worked on the island of Nantucket for a non-profit doing field technician work including radio telemetry for spotted turtles, pre- and post-restoration data collection, native and rare plant species inventory, and more. Lara returned to DNREC to join a team assessing the health of tidal and non-tidal wetlands in the State of Delaware, which kickstarted her journey into the world of water quality and watershed health. She spent the next 10 years with DNREC in a variety of positions to address non-point source pollution, public drainage concerns, estuarine resources and research, and restoration, all with the goal of improving water quality. She obtained her Nutrient Management Consultant certification through the Delaware Department of Agriculture. As a manager, she supervised a team of staff members, managed budgets upwards of $500,000 and participated in construction projects ranging from rain gardens, wetland restoration, and indoor interpretive exhibits. She has experience coordinating efforts between state, federal, and non-profit partners and leveraging funds amongst partners to complete projects.
Lara resides with her husband and two children in Kent County, Delaware on their small farm growing beef cattle, chickens, and cut flowers.