Brian Bernero spends his work days 45 feet under JFK Boulevard. By trade, Brian is a millright, a railroad mechanic, but his passion is the verdant natural world he never sees on the job. This love is what drew him to Natural Lands.
Brian began as a volunteer in 2013. “I heard that volunteers were needed for a tree planting day at Hildacy Preserve,” Brian recalled. “Soon after that, the Force of Nature® volunteer program was launched, and I signed up. I was hooked.”
In 2017, Brian became a part-time staff member, working mostly at Hildacy. As a part of the preserve stewardship team, he mows trails, removes invasives, plants trees, and even builds nest boxes and Adirondack-style chairs. “I come to Hildacy to recharge my batteries. It’s not work to me.”
It’s hard to imagine Brian can find time outside of his two careers to do more “work,” but he’s poured what he’s learned about land management from Natural Lands into his quarter-acre, suburban yard in Delaware County. What was once lawn is now a lush enclave of native trees and shrubs, a huge bed filled with pollinator plants, and a vegetable garden.
Brian has a liberal arts degree from Delaware County Community College, and he’s completed the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry wildland firefighter and sawyer training.
Ask Brian about: being underground in Philadelphia.