Remembering Jerry Shrepple


ARMN lost one of its long-term and dedicated members, Jerry Schrepple, on March 15, 2016.  Jerry had been an active volunteer since graduating with the Spring 2009 ARMN Basic Training class. Jerry contributed to so many habitat restoration projects, including invasive removal and plantings in local parks, seed collection, cleaning, and nursery work with Earth Sangha, and stream-water monitoring. He was known for his expertise in building bird houses and he happily shared that knowledge through hands-on workshops. Jerry championed the restoration of the site next to the bike path by Bon Air Park in Arlington. This “Take Back the Trail” project resulted in the transformation of a previously neglected site covered with invasives into a meadow that now features native plants which are visible to all who use that section of the bike path.  ~Marion Jordan, ARMN president, on behalf of ARMN

[Tributes compiled by Kasha Helget, ARMN communications chair]

Courtesy Rodney Olsen (3)
Photo courtesy of Rodney Olsen

ARMN members are grateful to have known Jerry, and we will miss him very much. We will not forget his many contributions to our natural environment or his warm smile and gentle presence among us. I am very saddened and sorry to send this…. The Earth lost a true friend and supporter with his passing. You would be very hard pressed to find a more hard-working and dedicated person in his support for the environment. I would always joke around with him on the numerous projects he helped the County with. I am sorry to hear about his passing. Jerry will be missed…. ~Alonso Abugattas

I am so saddened as well. Jerry and I planted Yoshino Cherry trees near the chapel at Arlington Cemetery. We worked together in a bird box class. Jerry was a sweet friend, champion of birds, expert bird-box maker; genteel and upbeat in many ways. He was brave and courageous in every way. ~ Melanie LaForce

Jerry [was a] most generous and supportive person. He joined my son’s CSA and was an enthusiastic and loyal member!  ~ Brooke Alexander

I so appreciated Jerry’s pleasant personality. I enjoyed putting together the birdhouse kits too, and look forward to seeing his native meadow project efforts blooming! ~ Yolanda Villacampa

I will always remember Jerry for his constant smile. ~ Rebecca Bragg

I am grateful to have known Jerry and to have worked with him on many invasive removals, plantings or other habitat restoration projects. Jerry was always willing to tackle the tough jobs and would come prepared with his own pickaxe. One of my favorite memories is the project at Barcroft where we engaged Wakefield High School students to help clearing and planting for a meadow under a power line. He soon had the group eagerly clearing heavy brush, digging holes for planting in the impossibly compacted soil, and otherwise helping to transform the site. Amid all this activity, he brought his usual calm and smiling presence. I will miss him very much. ~ Marion Jordan

[Jerry] never took the [TreeStewards] class, but his constant showing up at work events that TreeStewards organized to remove invasive plants made him a revered “friend of TreeStewards” or, more importantly, someone who crossed all boundaries whether organizational or jurisdictional to save trees and native habitats from destruction. ~ Nora Palmatier 

Jerry’s [2009 training] class presentation on bird behavior was educational, highly entertaining, and memorable. Jerry became the birds he was talking about, completely embodying the attitude, movements, and dispositions of the birds he was describing. 

I will miss working shoulder-to-shoulder with Jerry on invasive pulls and restoration plantings. His indefatigable spirit, energy, and enthusiasm were infectious, and it was hard not to have fun when working with Jerry. He was a kind soul and his passion was inspirational. ~ Caroline Haynes

Lesson learned from Jerry: Walk softly and carry a big root cutter! ~ Stephanie Martin

I am so grateful that I got to experience Jerry’s kind words, gentle smile, and his appreciation for our natural world. He was an incredibly hard-working and dedicated volunteer for ARMN. He will be missed by our organization in so many ways. ~ Christine Campe-Price

… I was very saddened to learn of [Jerry’s death]. I hope we can continue his work along the W&OD at the meadow.  

Jerry’s last email to me in January demonstrated what I loved about him. I had invited ARMN to work with me at Fraser Preserve in January at a program entitled “Barberry, Birds, and Beer.” Jerry responded, “Two things I love, and one I hate. Count me in.” 

He was devoted, charming, even-keeled, intelligent, and someone who could always be counted on. I’m surprised at how much I miss him. ~ Lori Bowes

In assembling the tributes to Jerry, it became clear that he touched so very many lives. Undoubtedly, he will live on in our memories, and in the legacy he has left to the Earth. I think it is the greatest aim that any of us can have.

And no, Lori, I am not surprised at how much you miss him. We all do. ~ Kasha Helget

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