Jenn Parrish is the Program & Communications Manager for Brandywine River Restoration Trust and is this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE. Read her story below.
“My Papu (great grandfather) settled in Delaware and contributed to its growth through the building of the Glasgow Arms. Our family has had ties with Wilmington for a few generations. I currently live in Middletown and visit Wilmington due to work, or personal things like visiting the Delaware Children’s Museum.
I first worked out of a Wilmington office in the Carvel Building in 2017. I shared my time as a legislative aide between Wilmington and Dover for over 4 years. In my current role at the BRRT, I’ve worked on programs focused on the Brandywine River area for a year as of August 8. Professionally, my work revolves around the people of Wilmington and the Brandywine River. The community programming that I develop brings such joy to my life–I love connecting with people, especially Wilmington’s youth! I am very proud of the community programs I’ve developed that focus primarily on our children and underserved communities.
Right now I’m excited about our Water Quality Monitoring Program on the Brandywine River and planning for a small scale event in honor of National Eat Outside Day on August 31.
The Greek Festival and the Delaware Museum of Arts are two of my favorite Wilmington attractions, which have to do with culture and my family history. I’ve visited the Greek Festival to celebrate my paternal Greek heritage since I was a little girl. On the same side of the family my grandfather and great aunt studied under Schoonover and my grandfather became a well known Delaware artist. The museum and the Greek Festival connect my heritage and past to the present. ShadFest has become a favorite as well due to my love of environmental education and serving.
Some interesting facts about me are:
- I’ve worked on legislation, primarily environmental, such as banning the sale of invasive plant species that impact all Delawareans. I’ve conducted research, facilitated and participated in many meetings that resulted in the creation of impactful state bills.
- I was a substitute teacher.
- I’ve competed in ballroom dancing.
- I have 5 children, including a set of twins.
- I created a very small nonprofit organization, Delaware Angels.
It is rare that I have a night out away from my children, but I do like day dates. We like to stop by restaurants like Ciro Forty Acres or visit the Riverfront. I also love the Grand Opera House and the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge.
I continue to choose Wilmington because I love the people, places, and parks. Longterm, I’d like to see more discussion in our city on combined sewer overflow (CSO’s) and work to separate water and sewage pipes. I look forward to seeing all the progress we make to improve the Brandywine River, which we work hard to achieve.
In the past 37 years I’ve enjoyed Wilmington’s nightlife as a young adult, its festivals and theaters throughout my life, the ease of its proximity to virtually everything professionally and its culture in every way for as long as I can remember. I owe a lot to Wilmington, including my son’s life. I’m thankful that Nemours Children’s Hospital settled in Wilmington, not far from where my family resides. They saved my son’s life on two occasions–he was born with congenital heart disease. With world renowned doctors, beautiful culture, and picturesque areas like Brandywine Park and the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge, Wilmington is one of Delaware’s greatest cities and one in which everyone benefits.
My advice to Wilmingtonians? Explore! Explore the outdoors, parks and all that Wilmington has to offer!”