Jeanne and Morris Jones first got to know Rookery Bay in 1999 by volunteering at the Briggs Nature Center, which was the original nature center for Rookery Bay and operated by the Conservancy of SW Florida. The center was named for Dr. Briggs, of Briggs & Stratton, who wanted to help people appreciate southwest Florida nature. Both Jeanne and Morris volunteered at that welcome desk, helped sell tickets to the Sea Queen (later replaced by the Good Fortune) and also did handiwork around the Briggs center whenever needed. After the Briggs center closed in 2003, Jeanne and Morris began volunteering at Rookery Bay before the Environmental Learning Center was even open. They helped out administrative staff at the headquarters building and watched as the ELC was being built. Their first job was shredding volumes of old documents.
When the ELC finally opened in 2004, Jeanne said that she and Morris helped with “everything!” She worked at the front desk, provided guided tours of our new exhibit hall and helpted with Nature Store inventory. Morris assisted with any and all paperwork and organization needed for Project Greenscape, and also helped Beverly with her avian record keeping. As the number of staff projects was slowly increasing, Morris and Jeanne were filling in wherever needed.
Both Morris and Jeanne had careers in Education in the state of Maryland. Morris began as a Civics teacher and went on to become a Principal at the young age of 25. He later become the Field Rep for the Maryland State Teachers Association in which Jeanne was also active. Jeanne taught 3rd grade for 30 years. Even after Morris passed away in 2015, Jeanne continued to support Rookery Bay through volunteering. She spends much of her time now in visitor services as a greeter and exhibit interpreter. She also helps Project Greenscape, provides administrative assistance to the Volunteer Coordinator and also helps with special events.
Jeanne has donated more than 2,000 hours. Thank you, Jeanne, for your dedication!