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Meet Susie Creamer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susie Creamer. 

Hi Susie, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My role at Patterson Park Audubon Center weaves together many of my favorite aspects of previous roles. My work at Audubon combines environmental conservation, education, and multicultural communities. I love that we work locally to improve Baltimore for birds and communities, our role in the international collaboration for bird conservation throughout the Americas.

I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, focused on growing environmental education programs with rural schools and collaborating with farmers to increase best practices for supporting local ecosystems. Because of this experience, I feel at home with Latinx communities, observing cultural norms, and speaking Spanish.

After Peace Corps, I taught Earth & Environmental Science to middle schoolers. Trained as a biologist, not a teacher, I had a steep learning curve in formal education but had some practice from the partnerships I had with Paraguayan teachers. I was fortunate to be able to organize a number of international trips for my students with Habitat for Humanity, hurricane relief, and sea turtle conservation projects in Central America. I found a passion for service learning and real-world experiences for youth.

While I was teaching, I completed my studies for my master’s in Environmental Science and strengthened my enthusiasm for international conservation, and I began looking for professional opportunities outside teaching. I landed at Audubon, where I lead the Baltimore program, integrating conservation, education, and communities. Our mission is to protect birds and their habitats, and we do so in ways that are meaningful to our communities. Thoughtful partnership with neighbors and organizations is essential to our shared success.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I have few complaints. When I started at Audubon, we were only two staff at the Center. So we each had a role in everything, yet not enough capacity to reasonably achieve it all, much less grow our impact. I reprioritized tasks and changed the program model so we could recruit more volunteers and secure increased grant funding. Ten years later, we have a team of five. While that is still a small number for what we have accomplished together, we are proud to be partners in shaping a better Baltimore for birds and communities.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am so proud of what our Audubon team has accomplished. I think some know us for building authentic partnerships between English and Spanish-speaking neighbors and for our commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. How our team works together within the organization and with external partners is essential for creating supportive spaces where we can find our shared goals and reach them together. We have made this a focal point of staff relationships and partnerships in recent years, and it has challenged each of us while deepening our trust for each other.

I am proud of how our Audubon team collaborates to find innovative solutions to environmental issues in the urban context. We don’t get discouraged by obstacles but instead find creative ways to solve problems. For example, I worked with Latinx neighbors so we could co-create a program to channel their enthusiasm for environmental exploration and action projects while increasing their participation in local conservation issues. We found common ground between migratory birds and people, who share similar stories of traveling extraordinary distances, through countless challenges, to find places to safely raise their families. These personal connections to birds that winter in their home countries have created a unique connection for Baltimore residents from Latin America.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
In my professional world, the people I work with make me happy. From my Audubon colleagues to our organizational partners to our community partners and program participants. I am proud of Audubon’s Green Leaders, an initiative to grow Baltimore’s youth advocates, and Audubon’s Bird Ambassadors, a program to cultivate Latinx leadership on local environmental issues, fostering connections between birds and people through the migratory pathways they share. I am inspired by those who want to make Baltimore a better place for birds and people to thrive, by cleaning and greening our neighborhoods.

Contact Info:

  • Email: baltimore@audubon.org
  • Website: patterson.audubon.org
  • Instagram: Audubon_PattersonPark
  • Facebook: PattersonParkAudubonCenter
  • YouTube: Patterson Park Audubon Center


Image Credits

Erin Reed Miller
Camila Cerea
Susie Creamer
Bridget Parlato

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