Drucilla “Dru” Harrison’s quick climb to director status is a success story. She began her career as an intern for the New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District and after completing her degree, was hired as a full-time employee of the district in 2005. In 2010, she was appointed as director. Reporting directly to the Board of Supervisors, Dru provides oversight of staff, serves as lead contact for land conservation and acquisition, provides technical support for designing and installing best management practices to improve water quality and reduce soil erosion, and manages environmental education.
While in her role as education coordinator, she helped establish several educational programs that the district still delivers today. Under her leadership, the district received county funding in 2016 to create four outdoor environmental learning centers (OELCs) at four New Hanover County Pre-K centers.
Dru is a 2004 graduate from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Science degree in Environmental Education from Montreat College. She received her Environmental Education training in 2007 from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and has completed several other trainings, including the University of North Carolina Wilmington Leadership Academy. Dru has also served as an officer on several different committees including the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Coalition, Wilmington Earth Day, Coastal Envirothon, Eagles Island Coalition, and the North Carolina District Employees Association. Dru was also selected as a finalist in the 2016 YWCA Women of Achievement Award.
Elissa was born and raised in Georgia, but is happy to now call Wilmington home. Her love of the outdoors and the environment began at a very young age. As a child, you’d always find her outside catching frogs and salamanders, playing in the creek, climbing trees, and hunting and fishing. These early experiences inspired her to seek a career where she was able to share her love for Mother Earth with others and to help make it a better place. Elissa has a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology and a Master’s in Natural Resources, both from the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!). In addition to her role at the District, Elissa serves on the board of Keep New Hanover Beautiful, chairs the Wilmington Earth Day Alliance, and is the Eastern Section Chair for the Environmental Educators of North Carolina (EENC). She was awarded the 2016 YWCA ‘Women of Achievement Award’ for Environmental and the 2016 ‘Outstanding Newcomer Award’ from EENC. Outside of work, Elissa enjoys international travel, hunting and fishing, hiking, and spending time with her fur babies and the love of her life, Cody.