Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Andrew’s journey with conservation began when he was a young boy, enjoying hiking and fishing, as well as frequently visiting zoos, aquariums, tide pools, and forests. His path with conservation was briefly put on pause due to the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Inspired by his great-grandfather, Andrew pursued a career in the Air Force. After a brief commission, he felt a need to continue serving others, so he chose to pursue a career in Finance. During his tenure as an Air Force officer and as a financial advisor, Andrew’s Christian faith taught him two critical lessons: service and stewardship. Therefore, he decided to again pursue his childhood passion of nature and wildlife.
After marrying his wife, Brittany, Andrew started working at Aquascape, North America’s largest manufacturer of pond equipment. Quickly learning ponds combined his two favorite hobbies, gardening and fish, Andrew caught the pond bug. One of his favorite things about ponds is their natural filtration enables the pond owner’s backyard to become an oasis for wildlife. Unlike pools which are heavily chlorinated and kill wildlife, ponds use natural filtration which promotes a living ecosystem in one’s backyard. Birds and other wildlife are able to then use this clean, naturally filtered water to drink and bathe in. Andrew likes to refer to this concept as Living Water, or what he calls Aqua Logos. All living beings rely on a source of clean water to survive. Andrew believes every landowner, as a steward of that land, should offer a source of clean drinking water for local wildlife.
As Andrew learned more about the importance of naturally filtered ponds and waterfalls for wildlife, he grew to learn the importance of native plants in the landscape. As every living thing needs clean water to survive, they also need a healthy source of food to thrive. Andrew received inspiration from entomologist, Douglas Tallamy. Tallamy has written several books on conservation, one of Andrew’s favorites, Nature’s Best Hope, emphasizes the need for the use of native plants in the home landscape. This approach to conservation is practical. Insects, particularly butterflies and moths, rely on native plants to thrive. Other animals, such as birds and small mammals, eat the larvae of insects. As suburban sprawl continues to spread across North America, our natural food webs are starting to collapse.
Andrew’s main drive behind Good Steward Ecoscapes is founded on scripture, in Genesis 1:28. It is the fundamental belief that man’s role on our home we call planet Earth is to take care of it. The land of our homes was once located in beautiful wilderness, part of greater fully functioning ecosystems. As owners of the land we live on, we can support conservation efforts in our own backyard, this concept Andrew refers to as, “Backyard Conservation”. From naturally filtered ponds and waterfalls to native plants in the landscape, every homeowner can have a positive impact on local ecosystems.