Executive Director: Lisa Locke
Exploring the mysteries of the natural world, understanding the interconnectedness of species, communities, industries and systems, and writing about them is Lisa’s passion and her life’s work. In an essay on sustainability, Lisa wrote:
“Consider a spider which spins an intricate web five times stronger than steel, infinitely renewable, while consuming little energy and producing no damaging wastes. She is attuned to her surroundings. She is using her resources wisely. She takes. She gives. She is part of the larger web. She feels the pulse of the planet as her own. She is powerful. We can learn from her.”
Lisa Locke, shown at left during a trek to the Himalaya Mountains in India, is DeIPL’s new Executive Director. Lisa recently moved to Delaware from West Michigan, an area rich in both natural resources and collaborative partnerships to protect them. A major player in those initiatives, she served as Administrator for West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, Project Manager with Sustainable Research Group, Coordinator for West Michigan Clean Cities Coalition and Associate Director of the West Michigan Environmental Action Council.
Lisa has served on environmental advisory councils for the Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and for Mayor of Grand Rapids. (In 2010, Grand Rapids was named “Nation’s Most Sustainable City” by the US Chamber of Commerce.) Her previous experience includes church administration, community education, public speaking, and journalism.
Outreach Director: Shweta Arya
Citing the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware’s Green Team as one example, Shweta sees this a good model for others to follow. “A Green Team is a natural offshoot of a faith-based community,” she said. “There are so many green activities and goals that lend themselves to groups that are already organized around families and a shared belief in protecting our environment.” She added that DIPL would be happy to provide resources and support to any community that would to start a Green Team.
For Shweta, her husband Gaurav and their two children Yuvi sethi and Saira sethi, the love of the outdoors is a family affair. One easy and fun family activity that anyone can do?
“Plant trees!” she says with enthusiasm. And encouraging faith communities to get their hands dirty planting trees is another of Shweta’s goals in her new DIPL Outreach Coordinator role. “It’s a wonderful way to help our environment.”
As a longtime outdoor enthusiast who enjoys biking, gardening, birding, hiking and running, it was only “natural” that certified Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Shweta Arya raised her hand when DIPL was looking for an Outreach Director. Coupled with her 6 years as an environmental educator at the Delaware Nature Society and the Tyler Arboretum as well as her leadership training with the Climate Reality Project (founded by Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore), the role was exactly what she was looking for.
“I’ve been wanting to work in the field of climate action,” said the Garnet Valley, PA, resident, “and this is a perfect fit for me.”
Part of the Hindu Temple of Delaware community, Shweta joined the DIPL board in January of this year and is excited to engage communities of faith in the important work of environmentalism, sustainability, and climate change action. Top on her to-do list?
“I’d like to help start a Delaware co-op for solar energy. People still view this as an unaffordable and out-of-reach option,” she said. But that’s not the reality anymore, Shweta explained, citing bulk discounts on solar installation that make this renewable energy accessible to everyone—including churches, temples and synagogues.