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Meet a Board Member – Patrice Dlhopolsky

Nature Center, Our Team

When she was newly married and needed a job to support her and her grad student husband, CEED Board Secretary Patrice Dlhopolsky took a job as a probation officer for the Suffolk County Probation Department. She thought she’d be there a couple of years. Before she retired 43 years later, she had become Director of the department, overseeing more than 400 employees.

Patrice’s original goal in retirement was to relax from the pressure of that high responsibility job and focus on being a grandma to her granddaughter and grandson on the way. During her time in the Probation Department, Patrice had seen a lot of the more difficult problems facing troubled individuals and our society. And she learned that in her own life, nature was a solace, a source of peace and perspective. In addition, she had always enjoyed gardening and found comfort being in the out of doors, and nurturing her own part of the earth.

Concerned about how little connection so many people have to nature, Patrice was perfectly primed for the day that she and her partner Bob stumbled upon a spring festival at CEED. Patrice put her name on a list as a potential volunteer and very quickly proved the same competence and value that resulted in her high-profile career. It wasn’t long before CEED co-founder Rebecca Muellers called to ask if Patrice would consider being on a newly reconstituted CEED Board in the spring of 2018.

As a grandmother, a citizen of earth, and someone who spent 43 years trying to help people who need healing, Patrice is committed to CEED’s mission of connecting people to nature.

“There is such joy in being outside,” Patrice says. “People need that. And we need to take care of this world. We don’t own this planet. We just inhabit it.”

At CEED, we’re honored to have Patrice as a critical member of our Board, our Executive Committee, and a co-chair of our Program Council and Events Committee.

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