Jessica Barr '26

    Virginia Gent Decker Arboretum Intern

    Major: Environmental Science
    Minor: Chesapeake Regional Studies

    Jessica had always been passionate about the environment before she knew she could major in it at college.

    Her mom first showed her how to take care of the environment, which in turn takes care of people. Jess believes that this ethic of permaculture is so important because we cannot take care of each other if we do not first take care of the environment and ourselves! She loves the slowness of permaculture. In our society, we are expected to continue moving even if we are tired, but in permaculture, we get a chance to relax and look around.

    Jess is a Center for Environment and Society Fellow, John S. Toll Science and Mathematics Fellow, and a member of the Campus Garden, Student Environmental Alliance, Composting Club, Chicken Council, ShoreFIT, and Fetching Freedom. In high school, she had the privilege to be the Director of Public and Dancer Relations for a nonprofit organization at her school, Naz-A-Thon. By effectively spreading information to her community and beyond, she helped raise over $133,000 for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 2022. This experience taught her how important it is to be responsible, organized, and, most importantly, to show up for her community the best way she can!

    Jess is excited to learn more about plants by completing five research profiles for the food initiative website and learn more about wild and traditional foods by preparing a menu for May Day! It saddens her to see the current state of our world, but she has hope that her generation can fix it. This internship is her first hands-on experience, and she is so excited to connect more with the natural world!