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For 30 years the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation has been working to protect valuable and scenic natural resources, and to develop and maintain trails and trail systems for public recreation.
The WRLF is committed to its role as an educational and recreational resource in the community and its work to promote wise land use and sustainable development.
Join us! You can help in the effort to ensure that our children will enjoy the same healthy environment, sustainable community, and free access to outdoor recreation as we do today.
The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation announces David McGowan of Brookline, MA, as its next Executive Director.
Mr. McGowan has dedicated his career to conserving land throughout Massachusetts. After receiving his graduate degree from Antioch New England University in 1996, he worked at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. There, he worked on projects throughout the Commonwealth – securing critical inholdings at Bradley Palmer State Park and Willard Brook State Forest, and helping conserve the 900-acre Spectacle Pond Farm at Otis State Forest.
In 2006, Mr. McGowan took a position with The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. Many of his projects at the Conservancy focused on adaptation to climate change, including a project to provide flood storage along the Taunton River, and the protection of an 800-acre property in Copake, New York that creates a large wildlife corridor within the Berkshire-Taconic landscape.
Following a productive year at Mass Audubon, Mr. McGowan joins the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation in July with an eye towards continuing the work of the organization in the areas of land conservation and nature education. Rural Lands will continue to provide meaningful engagement for the citizens of Williamstown.
Mr. McGowan will succeed outgoing Executive Director Leslie Reed-Evans, who has been with the WRLF for almost 23 years. Leslie counts the WRLF’s acquisition and move to Sheep Hill as one of its greatest accomplishments during this time. In addition to the preservation of Sheep Hill and its development as a community resource, WRLF has successfully completed several important and innovative farm protection projects and added many miles of public hiking trails.
The President of the Foundation, Philip McKnight, summed up the transition of its leadership this way, “Leslie Reed-Evans’s retirement comes as a bittersweet moment in the life of the Foundation. She has over her career been instrumental in the development and the continued success of its land conservation efforts and its nature education programs.
We are grateful for Leslie’s commitment over more than two decades to the mission and the purpose of Rural Lands. David McGowan’s role as our next Executive Director will permit us to continue our important work in both the preservation of the Town’s beautiful landscape and in aiding in the equally important task of fostering the Town’s economic development by helping make our community a destination for visitors and new homeowners alike.”
Executive Director retiring next year; article from the Berkshire Eagle 10/23/16 http://www.berkshireeagle.com/local/ci_30496812/heart-and-soul-what-were-about-williamstown-rural