Melvin Leo Wilkins
November 15, 1939 – April 18, 2020
Melvin Leo Wilkins, 80, of Stuarts Draft, VA, lost his battle with cancer on April 18, 2020 in Stuarts Draft.
Mel was born in Washington, DC to Leo and Adaline Wilkins on November 15, 1939. He attended Bladensburg HS in Bladensburg, MD and the University of Maryland, College Park, MD and Heidelberg University. He was married to his beloved wife, Edna Kindleberger Wilkins, for 56 years. They resided in Maryland most of those years, but traveled widely and twice lived in Germany and once in England. After Edna’s death, he and Laurie moved to Stuart’s Draft from Gambrills, MD. Mel was proud to have served his country in the the 82nd Airborne Division and at the NSA.
Mel spent thousands of hours volunteering on environmental and watershed restoration projects in Annapolis and the surrounding Anne Arundel County. He raised over $9 million in state and private grant funds and lead over 50 projects. He also did consulting through his company, EcoGardens, LLC. He started with the Sensory Garden at the ARC of Central Chesapeake. It was the first of its kind to use plants to interact with the sensory perception parts of the brain in developmentally disabled individuals. His ecologically sensitive gardens have been nationally recognized. He went on to assist in the conversion of an old unused building into the Chesapeake Children’s Museum. He raised funds for environmental education projects, to include a nature trail with English/Spanish signage. Mel was responsible for the restoration of the derelict Back Creek Nature Park and installation of several stormwater management features, part of the Stormwater Education Center. He developed the Stormwater Education Experience at Quiet Waters Park, which represents a key asset for Anne Arundel County. Mel founded the Spa Creek Conservancy in 2004. It is still going strong today. His initiatives represented over 40 Chesapeake Bay watershed restoration projects with over $7 million in funding. A major accomplishment was the full restoration of the creek headwaters. Mel was awarded the distinguished 2004 Ellen Fraites Wagner Award by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The award recognizes a Maryland citizen for his or her exceptional contributions to the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.. He has also been recognized by the City and County several times. Mel was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Adaline, his beloved wife and son, Edna and Chris, younger brother, Jeff Wilkins, and son-in-law,Mike Scible. Mel is survived by his beloved daughter, Laurie Wilkins-Scible, his siblings Michael Wilkins, (Missy), Kathy Claiborne, (Larry), and Jenny Gast (Jim), and many nephews and nieces, and a great nephew, as well as, other extended family. He will be sorely missed. Due to current corona virus concerns there will be a private cremation with the hope of a memorial service held at a later date. Memorial gifts may be made to the Spa Creek Conservancy at www.spacreek.net or Spa Creek Conservancy, P.O. Box 2199, Annapolis, MD 21404. Mel’s family wishes to extend our sincere thanks to Hospice of the Shenandoah Valley. Thank you to all his friends and family in Maryland and in Virginia for being so supportive. Relatives and friends may share condolences and memories with the family online by visiting www.reynoldshamrickfuneralhomes.com
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Melvin Leo Wilkins
Bob vom Saal
May 3, 2020
I had the pleasure of working on a restoration project grant application with Mel many years ago when I was an officer of the Severn River Association. His expertise, energy and enthusiasm were invaluable and he will be greatly missed by the local environmental community. He set a great example for us all.
Melanie and Michael Teems
April 28, 2020
Many of us in Annapolis benefited from the restoration work Mel planned and coordinated on Spa Creek. His tireless efforts and persistence led to many others being involved in and educated about the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. His memory lingers on...
April 27, 2020
Laurie . . . Last April, Allen, Marilyn, Frank (Phelan) and I met you and your dad for a delicious meal at a restaurant near your home. It was such a lovely visit. I always enjoyed so much talking with Mel because he knew something about everything! Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult time. . . . Kathie and Frank
April 25, 2020
Laurie, your mom and dad were the first people Roger and I met when we built a house across the street from you. They were always welcoming and helpful neighbors. You were our babysitter several times. When they moved to Crofton, we didn’t see them much but kept up with Mel’s many activities in the newspaper. I can’t remember anyone who retired and did so much for Anne Arundel County and the watersheds, especially the Spa Creek project! We have many memories of your grandmother, Chris, and your mom and dad and send you our heartfelt condolences. They were good people. With sympathy,
Vonda and Roger Vales
April 25, 2020
For so many years, Mel helped the Volunteer Center with its Save the Bay Day Clean Up at Jonas Green Park. We couldn't do it without him and the wonderful volunteers he and Diane Evans inspired every year.