Elbert Wells, PA ACES Enrollee

Elbert Wells, PA ACES Enrollee

Mr. Elbert Wells is a dedicated Conservation Planner in the West Chester, Pennsylvania office who has been involved in conservation work for more than forty years. Elbert began his work as a Soil Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Berks County office in 1966.  After six months on the job, he became a member of the United States Army where he served for two years.  When Elbert’s Army stint was finished, his passion for conservation work brought him back to NRCS. He worked in the Monroe and Carbon County offices for a few years and then became the District Conservationist (DC) of the Warren County office. In 1974, Elbert became the DC for Chester County where he remained for fifteen years.

Elbert’s NRCS career provided the opportunity for him to work with the Bureau of Water Quality Management as part of an Interagency Personnel Agreement.  There his focus was on improving the Red and White Clay Watershed.  Following this, Elbert worked as an NRCS project leader for the Philadelphia Urban Resources Partnership for five years.  Subsequently, he became a DC, this time for Bucks, Montgomery, Lehigh and Northampton Counties.  Elbert remained in this position until his retirement in 2003.  Following retirement, Elbert worked for the Chester County Conservation District developing conservation plans.

Elbert then decided that he wanted to become an Earth Team volunteer (Earth Team is NRCS’s official volunteer resource).  It was during this time that he learned about the ACES program.  In May of 2009, Elbert returned to NRCS, this time as a Level 1, ACES enrollee in the West Chester, Pennsylvania office.  As an ACES enrollee, Elbert spends the majority of his time developing conservation plans as well as mentoring and counseling NRCS employees.  Elbert says “the opportunity to interact with and potentially shape and influence younger conservationists through mentorship can be as gratifying as conservation planning.”  He likes to challenge people to think about issues in different ways and to approach subjects from a variety of angles.  His advice to others is to have an open mind, to ask questions as they interact with landowners and to work to develop good quality people skills.  Veronica Protesto of the West Chester office says “Elbert’s many years of experience allow him to provide specialized expertise and knowledge to a new generation of conservation planners.”

Gary Smith, Asst. State Conservationist in the Harrisburg office, says: “Elbert has always been excellent with new NRCS employees; has always given them the right foundation to get started in their conservation careers.”  Gary says he cannot say enough good things about Elbert – they are too numerous to mention.

Outside of the workplace, Elbert enjoys spending time with his family.  He particularly enjoys outdoor activities such as taking fishing trips with his sons.  Elbert is a dedicated member of his church; he is a Deacon and Director of program planning.  Elbert and his family also share a passion for sports.