Friends of Eastern Neck was incorporated in 1997 by local citizens to support the public use objectives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. It fulfills its mission through volunteer services, staffing the Refuge Bookstore, and organizing special projects and programs to engage people in recreational activities and stewardship of the refuge.

Board Members

My name is Melissa Baile.  I have had the pleasure of visiting Eastern Neck throughout my childhood and into adulthood.  I have been a Friends member and volunteer at the bookstore for 10 years.  I have been a member of the waterfowl survey team for 8 years, or maybe 9.  I became a board member 8 years ago and have been the President for the last 5 years.
Phil Cicconi joined the Friends and began volunteering in 1998. Phil was invited to join the board and became the Vice President in 1999. He became President in 2000 and maintained that position until he relinquished it in 2007.
Currently, Phil is again Vice President of the Friends organization. Eastern Neck has become part of both his and his wife Jackie's lives as Jackie volunteers as the refuge bookstore manager.

Leann started volunteering at Eastern Neck soon after she moved to Rock Hall from Pennsylvania in 1997, and joined the Friends soon after it was founded. She is the treasurer and the editor of the Friends newsletter, The Rookery. She has participated in many Refuge projects over the years, from building decks and boardwalks to planting grasses and trees. The Refuge is her refuge - her peaceful, quiet place - from the crazy world outside.

Since coming to Rock Hall in 2003 Anne Bricker has found Eastern Neck to be the place for quiet walks, eagle spotting and kayaking.  Anne has worked at the gift shop since 2012 and been a Friends board member since 2014.  Membership in the Friends of Eastern Neck is an important way to keep this beautiful wildlife refuge open and available for everyone to enjoy.

Lew moved to Kent County in 1999. One of the first meetings he went to was at Osprey Point Marina and was all about Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. He immediately signed up as a volunteer in the gift shop. After years of talking up the wonders of Eastern Neck he was asked to join the Board of the Friends. Lew built one of the osprey nests that grace Eastern Neck, modeled on one he built for his home. He and Linda get great pleasure from watching the ospreys come back each year to raise their young.


Simon started volunteering in the butterfly garden and the bookstore soon after he moved to Rock Hall in 2014. He joined the Board in 2016.  He helps administer the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge facebook page and this Friends of Eastern Neck website. When he moved to the area he had no idea that this beautiful and peaceful place would become such an important part of his life.

Joan moved to this area in 2011 and daily visits to the Refuge began almost immediately. She was a volunteer in 2011-2012, life happened, and she returned to volunteering in 2017 sharing responsibility for a plot at the Butterfly Garden, becoming the primary mower, and joining the Board. She is interested in creating a strong stewardship of Refuge land, animals, and environment.

Meg, an avid birder, moved to Rock Hall in 2001 and has been visiting and enjoying the Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge ever since.  For the past seven years, she has been privileged to be part of a team conducting a weekly winter waterfowl survey at the Refuge.  This experience has helped to hone her waterfowl identification skills and expand her appreciation of this diverse and bountiful refuge.   Meg is pleased to serve on the Friends of Eastern Neck Board.