How SCORE helped. 

Did you know that there are eight and a half acres of urban forest in Southeast Lancaster that is home to red-backed salamanders, crayfish, and deer? When you follow a path through a stand of bamboo named Salamander Slalom, you discover the treasure of a natural classroom with log benches surrounded by silver maple trees. 

SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon client Elyse Jurgen, during her time as a science teacher at Edward Hand Middle School with a master’s degree in environmental education, was instrumental in helping to form the partnership that would preserve Hand’s Woods and work with the Lancaster Conservancy and Sierra Group Lancaster on annual clean-ups in the spring and fall.  

On A Mission to Rebuild Biodiversity in Human Spaces

Elyse’s passion for the conservation of natural habitats stretches back to her days in high school, volunteering to clean-up Codorus Creek. Since her collaboration on the Hand’s Wood project, Elyse has turned her attention to founding a business that will concentrate on how individuals and organizations rethink how they design and use their outdoor spaces.

“I’ve been involved in community-based conservation projects since I was young, with an enduring love for restoring the local environment to enhance the planet’s natural beauty and biodiversity. In five years of converting my home landscape to native habitat, I noticed a sweeping increase in the number of visiting butterflies and birds, which inspires the work I do in my business. Waxwing EcoWorks Co. was formed to meet the growing demands of concerned homeowners who seek to be part of the solution of rebounding dwindling insects and bird populations. Our home landscapes and other privately owned lands, collectively make up the majority of the U.S. growing space and are recognized as a critical canvass for conservation work.”

   - Elyse Jurgen, founder, Waxwing EcoWorks Co.

Cultivating a Business  Plan with Patience and Care

Elyse has been cultivating her business plan for Waxwing EcoWorks Co. with patience and care, working with a SCORE mentor since 2016. She transitioned to partnering with SCORE volunteer mentor Beverley Doody last summer.

“Elyse is very open and receptive to considering the suggestions made during our sessions. We have covered several areas together, including pricing, developing proposals, self-marketing, promotion, and accounting. We have also discussed various networking opportunities to increase awareness of her mission. Elyse set an ambitious goal of setting up her LLC and launching her website in time for the new year, and her drive for her mission of ecological gardening allowed her to meet them both. I am inspired by her passion for creating these beautiful, healthy outdoor spaces, and honored to assist her with this environmental dream. “

    - Beverley Doody, SCORE volunteer mentor

“Especially during the challenging phases of setting-up of my business as an operational LLC, my mentors would attentively listen to my questions and trepidations and then respond thoughtfully with sound advice and personal experience, propelling me to take the next necessary action. I deeply value having a trustworthy sounding board to help ease my worries as a first-time business owner. I often walk away from SCORE mentorship meetings feeling refreshed and empowered!”

   - Elyse Jurgen, founder, Waxwing EcoWorks Co.

Summer Bring Endless Opportunities to Enjoy the Natural World.

As summer begins, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the beauty and wonder of the natural world around us. Elyse Jurgen will be helping homeowners, schools, and community groups to rethink their outdoor spaces, no matter the size, as an enlivened landscape that connects to create a mosaic of viable habitat for wildlife to thrive. Together she hopes to rebuild biodiversity, our sense of place, and connection to each other and the cohabitant creatures on this planet.

SCORE Success Story: Waxwing EcoWorks Co.