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Terry A. Meyer Fund
By Jean Cohoon / March 30, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
A former ski instructor, decent kayaker, and master gardener, Terry Meyer wants to spend her days outside not only for recreation, but also to provide a hands-on approach to her philanthropy.

“Working with Jenny (Pereira, grant programs officer for the environment), I’m looking for projects to fund and to be involved with,” Terry explains.

Raised in Mamaroneck, NY, Terry earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Denver, majoring in geography. She joined a mining company as a draftsman. “At the time, it was pen and ink. I made their maps and learned about water wars (competing interests for the finite, and often insufficient, water supply) and land holdings,” she says.

She returned to New York, took film classes at New York University, and “got some really cool jobs” creating animated openings for sports stories and being an Associated Press photo editor.

“But, I knew I wanted to be involved in environmental stuff,” Terry continues. She enrolled in the graduate urban and environmental policy program at Tufts University, while also earning a certificate in cartography at UMass Boston. Her studies led her to a GIS (geographic information systems) position with the Town of Brookline, MA, and the Massachusetts chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

“I was looking for a place to grow old. I did a grid, a sort of mapmaking thing for where I wanted to live, and Providence was a 10 on all scores,” she exclaims of her move to Rhode Island in 2005.

Work with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management followed, during which Terry helped compile a GIS open space data layer to show the boundaries of conserved land in the state.

She has done volunteer work for The Rhode Island Blueways Alliance, Audubon Society, and the URI Master Gardener Program. Terry started the “Garden Time” program at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institute where volunteers help inmates design, plant, and harvest their gardens.

Terry is excited to be doing her hands-on philanthropy with the Foundation. “You have such an overarching reputation, and you really know what’s going on. You take the mystery out of philanthropy.”
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