Influencer: Priscilla De La Cruz, Audubon Society of Rhode Island

The Senior Director of Government Affairs is a RIC alum who loves birding and dining around PVD

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The Audubon Society is all about protecting wildlife at the state and local level. Why is environmental conservation so important to you and Rhode Island?

As the climate change crisis intensifies and accelerates, it further threatens wildlife and people, and increases the vulnerability of our communities. As an independent nonprofit, Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s mission is to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through conservation, education, and advocacy, for the benefit of people and all living things. Audubon manages nearly 9,500 acres of conserved habitat to protect the diverse ecosystems we need to adapt to a warming climate. These critical areas serve as a model for habitat protection, they support species resilience, and help limit the impacts of climate change in our state. Nature-based solutions will help to ensure our communities can remain resilient. 

Your education started at Rhode Island College where you earned a BS in Business Marketing before getting a MLA from the Harvard University Extension School. Tell us about that path.

I didn’t know when I was younger that I could pursue a career in climate and environmental advocacy. Instead, I focused on marketing and management in the nonprofit sector earlier in my career. But I always cared deeply about doing my small part to help improve the lives of those around me, my family and friends, and my community. That sense of caring and commitment ultimately led me to find my voice in the advocacy field.

What are some of your favorite ways to experience the Ocean State?

I enjoy spending time with family and close friends, especially with my nephew. I love traveling and discovering new things, attending community events, taking walks and hikes on beautiful trails. I was born in New York City, but my family moved to Providence when I was very young, so I’m a Rhode Islander at heart – and a big foodie. I love supporting and experiencing local restaurants across the state; my favorites tend to be in Providence! Dolores PVD, Mexico Garibaldi, Sophia’s Café, Los Andes, Mi Guatemala, White Electric Coffee Co-op, AS220 Food & Drink, Slow Rhode, Garden Grille, Plant City, and Lim’s Thai & Sushi.

What animals do you like to spot?

Birds and dogs – because both are fun to watch. I’m looking forward to learning more about birds through Audubon and going on nature walks and hikes on Audubon trails. And I hope to adopt a puppy one day!

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