Wild Ideas


Share. Inspire. Get Wild.

5 dynamic topics. 15 powerful slides. 5-minute talks to inspire.
TLC’s Wild Ideas series provides a unique venue for experts and the community to share their innovative ideas to safeguard clean water, protect natural habitats, support local farms and food, and connect people with nature in order to make the Triangle a more vibrant place for all of us to live, work, and play. Each event features 5 fast-paced presentations introduced by an emcee then is followed by an Expo of organizations, groups, and businesses actively working in fields related to the theme. 

Save the date: December 5th 5:30-8:00 PM Wild Ideas for Tomorrow Today.

See highlights from Wild Ideas for Clean Creeks below

March 20th, 2018 5:30-8 PM
ReCity Network
112 Broadway St., SUITE B.
Durham, NC, 27701

Triangle Land Conservancy’s Wild Ideas series provides a unique venue for experts and the community to share their innovative ideas to improve lives through conservation by safeguarding clean water, protecting wildlife habitat, supporting local farms and food, and connecting people to nature.

This year Wild Ideas for Clean Creeks helped celebrate the 10th anniversary of Durham Creek Week, a time to discover and clean up our local streams. Creek Week is a collaboration between the organizations, government departments, businesses, and citizens that help protect Durham’s watersheds and drinking water. At Wild Ideas for Clean Creeks you’ll hear from 5 speakers about some of the ongoing initiatives and ideas that are cleaning up our creeks, conserving the land that filters our water, and planning for tomorrow.  Talk one on one with the people making it happen during the Creek Week Expo and find out how you can get involved while enjoying free food and beer!

Visit the Creek Week website to sign up for a clean up too!


M.C.: Laura Webb SmithCreek Week Organizer, Public Education Coordinator Public Works Department, Stormwater and GIS Services for the City of Durham

Laura Webb Smith is the Public Education Coordinator for the City of Durham Stormwater Services. She works with Durham residents of all ages to prevent pollution through education, stream stewardship, and residential best practices. Laura earned a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University. Before joining Durham’s Public Works Department, Laura worked in science and environmental education. At home in the Third Fork Creek watershed, Laura enjoys tending her rain garden and using harvested rainwater on veggies and native plants.

 Dr. Emily Bernhardt- Associate Professor of Biogeochemistry, Department of Biology at Duke University

From a small town in western North Carolina, Dr. Bernhardt gained a love of nature from frequent hikes in the Appalachian mountains and epic family vacations driving across the country to visit national parks and seashores in a bright orange Volkswagen pop top camper.  As an undergraduate at UNC she took every ecology course on offer and worked in the labs of nearly every ecology faculty counting tree seedlings, creating marine food webs, studying riparian buffers and more.

Bernhardt joined Duke’s Department of Biology in 2004 working as a biogeochemist. Since arriving at Duke she has recruited 14 amazing graduate students and 11 incredible postdocs to join in building a very productive and stimulating research group. Together they have developed exciting research programs on topics as diverse as soil priming, nanomaterial toxicity, ecosystem development, wetland restoration, stream restoration, urban thermal pollution, saltwater incursion and watershed nitrogen cycling. Some of her ongoing studies are being conducted in land permanently conserved by Triangle Land Conservancy.

Crystal Dreisbach-Don’t Waste Durham

Crystal Dreisbach is the founder and Executive Director of a local non-profit called Don’t Waste Durham. Through evidence-based policy change and community-owned solutions, Don’t Waste Durham works to reduce the amount of trash produced by our community. Crystal has a Masters in Public Health and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Gabon 2000-2002). She is also the mother of two small boys and a long-distance runner.

Chris Dreps SelfieChris Dreps, Executive Director, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association

Chris Dreps works with ECWA’s staff and scores of volunteers to protect and restore Ellerbe Creek. He spends his time helping to strengthen ECWA’s organizational capacity, creating a vision for watershed restoration, and building innovative partnerships with government, businesses, agencies, foundations, and private landowners. It is a fun and challenging job working with ECWA’s great people.

Chris has been working to protect watersheds for 20 years. In his previous job, he directed the nonprofit Upper Neuse River Basin Association, working with local governments to coordinate a regional watershed management planning process. Chris has also worked for a private consulting firm in Seattle, Washington and the National Park Service in Tucson, Arizona. He has done volunteer work outside of the USA as a Peace Corps Volunteer Central African Republic, a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Honduras, and was a Mennonite Central Committee volunteer on a rural water harvesting project in Guerrero, Mexico.

Robert Howes, Director of Conservation, Triangle Land Conservancy

Bo started as Conservation Project Manager for TLC in October 2008 and currently holds the position of Director of Conservation and Stewardship. With deep roots in the local community, Bo has successfully identified, initiated, and closed scores of land projects. Bo represents TLC on the New Hope Creek Advisory Committee, a long­time TLC priority area, and has worked with many of the New Hope partners to protect a good portion of that corridor that drains into Jordan Lake.

Image result for darryl moss creedmoorDarryl Moss Former Mayor of Creedmoor and Water Quality Advocate

Darryl was born and raised in Granville County and spent more than 30 years as a leader in his community. He was elected to serve as mayor of his hometown, the City of Creedmoor in 1999. Prior to his election as mayor he served as a member of Creedmoor’s Planning Board, and was elected to the Creedmoor Board of Commissioners.  Mayor Moss was active in both the North Carolina League of Municipalities and the National League of Cities.

As mayor Darryl made improving public safety, promoting community and economic development, and protecting natural resources the cornerstone of his commitment to the people of Creedmoor. Darryl served as a Commissioner on the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission from 2007-2013,

Under Darryl’s leadership in 2012 the City of Creedmoor was the first North Carolina municipality to pass an ordinance to prohibit fracking.  While that ordinance was overridden by the legislature, it motivated Darryl to sign on to a lawsuit challenging the NC Mining and Energy Commission’s preemption of local authority.

Stephanie Panlasigui, Director of Conservation, Eno River Association

Stephanie relocated to Durham in 2013 to earn a Master’s degree in Environmental Management at Duke. She then spent two years as a researcher at the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, focusing on prioritizing freshwater systems for conservation nationwide. An avid hiker, birder, and photographer, she quickly fell in love with the natural areas of the Triangle, and is passionate about protecting Eno River for present and future generations.

Special thanks to:

This event is offered free of charge thanks to support from:



Duke Logo

Past Events

Wild Ideas for Clean Creeks, March 20th, 2018

Wild Ideas for Walnut Hill, November 14th, 2017

Wild Ideas for Clean Water, June 27th, 2017

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, March 7th, 2017

Wild Ideas for Farms and Food, October 11, 2016.

Wild Ideas for Birds and Bees, June 22nd, 2016.

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, March 9th, 2016

Wild Ideas for Clean Water, June 2015

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, March 3rd, 2015

Wild Ideas for Feeding the Triangle, October 22nd, 2016


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