Eye for the environment | UDaily | #socialmedia | #children

“I hosted a group of local teens every Tuesday from The Teen Warehouse in Wilmington. They wanted to learn about the environment and help, but none of them wanted to work outdoors,” said Stewart. “We had business students and creatives who had no idea about the reach they could have.”

Stewart taught them that the environmental and conservation fields have both outdoor and indoor jobs. She emphasized how organizations like The Nature Conservancy have finance and other professionals who complement those working in the great outdoors. The UD senior told the students they could make an impact no matter how small the contribution to the cause. 

“My goal was to connect the community to nature. I was thinking, ‘I am creating all these resources that will go unnoticed,’ ” Stewart said. “Then I get people reaching out for interviews, teenagers contacting me about my college major or even just people stopping me on the street wondering what the Alliance is. It makes me realize that I have done something impactful.”

She credits Anna Wik, assistant professor of landscape architecture, as a major influence on her. In the summer of 2019, Stewart interned with Wik on a landscape architecture project on the UD Children’s Campus called the Edible Forest Garden.

“She sparked my interest in design. I explained what I wanted to do after graduation and she immediately began connecting me with people in the field,” said Stewart, who went on to take an integrated design course with Wik. “We stay in contact and plan to stay in contact well after graduation. I call her my UD mom because she’s been such a great supporter.” 

Wik praised Stewart.

“Charlye is one of those students who makes me glad to be a professor; she is engaged, curious, passionate about learning and holds herself to an extremely high standard,” Wik said. “Charlye is dedicated to creating sustainable landscapes and working to solve pressing environmental issues.” 

Drawn to courses like History of Landscape Architecture (LARC202), Planning Sustainable Communities and Regions (UAPP406), and CAD for Site Design (LARC150), Stewart added a minor in integrated design.

After graduation, Stewart has her sights set on graduate school to further study sustainable design or landscape architecture. 

“I want to help build a future,” Stewart said, “where animals and humans can coexist in urban environments through green buildings and other conservation tools.”


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