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Ed grew up in Connecticut at a time when kids would play outside all day, leaving his home in the morning and coming back for dinner. Coming of age during the beginning of the modern environmental movement, and this experience, paired with his childhood appreciation of the outdoors, inspired him to pursue a career in environmental protection. In his early work with an environmental consulting firm, Ed helped craft some of the nation’s first energy conservation standards, and researched grazing practices on federal lands in the West.
Joining Greenbelt in 1987 as Executive Director, he has seen the organization grow in its stature and effectiveness. He loves being able to work in a beautiful place, alongside dedicated colleagues, and having the opportunity to preserve a tangible thing—land—to be enjoyed by the public forever. Ed lives in Rockport with his wife and enjoys gardening, sea kayaking, riding his bicycle and visits by his grandson.
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Kate Bowditch joined Greenbelt after serving for 25 years in leadership positions at the Charles River Watershed Association. A published scientist, Kate has a strong focus on conservation science and climate change. Through her work, Greenbelt is taking a leadership position in making the region more resilient.
A nationally-recognized expert in conservation, she helped transform the Charles River from a heavily-polluted blemish on the state’s environmental reputation to one of the cleanest urban rivers in the country; a widely-acclaimed success story.
At CWRA, Bowditch led efforts to improve the Charles River watershed and parklands in the 35 cities and towns through which it runs. She worked closely with neighborhoods and communities to improve and protect the environment. She also created its Blue Cities Initiative which reduces flooding and pollution by creating natural greenways to clean and absorb runoff.
As Chair of the Brookline Conservation Commission, she worked to create new parks, restore a sanctuary, and develop three open space plans.
Kate loves the outdoors and skiing, sailing and traveling. Her personal and work history reflects a lifetime of dedication to the natural world and to the work of conservation.
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Maggie works with landowners in the belief that we all have a role to play in protecting Essex County. She works to familiarize them with the beneficial options available to meet their conservation and financial goals.
In obtaining her Master’s Degree at Tufts University, she studied legal protection techniques in land use planning, while she completed a multi-phase and award-winning research project in coordination with Fishing Partnership Support Services.
Maggie returned to Greenbelt where she had previously worked as a MassLift/Americorps land stewardship coordinator for two years, while simultaneously working at the Town of Ipswich Open Space Program. During her Americorps service, Maggie re-established a thriving bee colony at the Cox Reservation, advanced the Osprey program and supported many stewardship initiatives. Maggie most recently worked as a GIS analyst, including conservation planning projects, at LandVest in Boston.
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Mike grew up in Newbury and spent much of his childhood outside, enjoying several local conservation properties. In college, Mike had the opportunity to work with a land trust in New Hampshire and since then has wanted to continue working in this field. He graduated from Colby-Sawyer College with a degree in community and environmental studies and, following work at an environmental consulting firm, joined Greenbelt in 2012.
Mike believes in Greenbelt’s mission to preserve natural resources and open spaces and loves coming to work every day with a group of people working towards that same goal. Mike is proud to be able to help people enjoy the land that Greenbelt conserves. He now lives in Newbury and enjoys taking his dog for walks, fishing, reading great books and traveling.
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Abby grew up in Southern New Hampshire and initially moved to Massachusetts to go to college in Boston. Abby graduated from Emerson and Tufts with degrees in Communications and Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. Prior to joining Greenbelt in 2011, Abby worked for a municipality on the South Shore doing wetland and open space permitting and management. Abby is passionate about working at Greenbelt because of her belief in the mission, appreciation for the North Shore, and the passionate staff and board members who she enjoys working with daily. On her days off, Abby enjoys reading, listening to music, and exploring the special places of Essex County with her husband and son.
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As Development Manager, Rachel works with our membership to encourage loyal, consistent giving, and is part of the Greenbelt team working on land campaigns, the Annual Fund and our business partnership program.
Rachel has upgraded our data management system to better communicate with members based on their individual interests. She believes members should feel like an important part of the conservation community, and has developed a survey program that provides important feedback in planning future Greenbelt programs.
She also helps manage and nurture the Cox Reservation beehives, an important part of Greenbelt’s community outreach and education, and a local source of honey. Rachel is a Texas-transplant whose love of hiking grew in the Cascade Mountains while attending the University of Washington, where she was a Division I swimmer. Prior to Greenbelt, she taught English in China and worked for a safari company where she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
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Vanessa brings 15 years of experience in land acquisition, conservation restrictions, and a passion for working with people to her leadership position as Assistant Director of Land Conservation.
Vanessa values working with landowners to help them achieve their conservation goals, and played a key role in the preservation of Leonhard Farm in North Andover and Boxford, Mehaffey Farm in Rowley, Wheeler Brook Farm in Georgetown and Bailey Farm in Haverhill.
Land protection is often complex and challenging. Vanessa evaluates acquisition and conservation projects using a detail-oriented approach and a strong educational background in natural sciences. She has an important responsibility for obtaining funding through grant writing, coordinating partnerships and negotiating achievable conservation outcomes. Vanessa also develops and delivers educational programs for landowners, municipalities, and farmers.
Vanessa enjoys visiting Essex County’s many local farm stands, kayaking its rivers and bays, trail running in its open spaces, bicycling its quiet roads, and hiking the high peaks of the White Mountains and beyond. She previously worked as a Land Protection Specialist for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation, and for The Land Trust of Napa County, California. Vanessa received her Master's of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
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Cathy has two decades of experience in development and advancing the work of environmental, educational and cultural nonprofits. In her 10 years at Greenbelt, she has attracted and engaged multi-generational audiences by bringing in new members, increasing the participation of current members and facilitating volunteer programs and events. In her current role, she leads the Greenbelt team working to advance our land campaigns, the Annual Fund, electronic and print publications, and membership programs.
She has established long-term relationships with donors and local business partners, trained and mentored the development staff and supervised many volunteers annually.
Cathy's appreciation for accessible open space stems from her lifelong love of being outdoors - trail running, skiing, hiking, boating. Professionally, her goal is to provide others who value the benefits of conserved land the opportunity to get involved, make a difference, and support Greenbelt's mission.
Cathy has a Master’s Degree in Geology and worked as an environmental consultant before starting her career at Greenbelt. An avid runner, Cathy is a Team Leader for Back on My Feet Boston which takes a revolutionary approach to the homeless. She believes in BoMF's vision that, through running, if you first restore a person’s confidence, strength and self-esteem, they are then better equipped to move toward jobs, homes and new lives.
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Growing up in Central Massachusetts and enjoying hiking and fishing in the brooks and farm ponds around his house as a child inspired Chris to spend his adult life preserving the spaces that made his childhood special. Graduating with degrees in environmental policy and natural resource planning from Colby College and the University of Vermont, Chris began his career in land conservation with The Trust for Public Land. After 12 years working on conservation across Massachusetts, Chris joined Greenbelt in 2015, admiring Greenbelt’s close relationship with the community. When he isn’t actively preserving land at Greenbelt, Chris is enjoying it; hiking, gardening and exploring the natural beauty of Essex County with his wife and two young boys.
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As the welcoming face or voice on the phone, Alexandra believes that everyone who comes in contact with Greenbelt should have a positive experience, whether they are current members or those exploring the grounds of our headquarters at Cox Reservation for the first time.
She is also responsible for maintaining accuracy and efficiency while processing all donations and membership renewals for Greenbelt, including acknowledgment of those gifts. She is a key member of both the administrative and development teams and sees her role as maintaining organization so that we can fully focus on our land conservation mission.
Alexandra has always had a passion for the outdoors and works to support Greenbelt’s mission of making nature accessible to all, enabling everyone the opportunity to experience nature in its fullness.
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Dave’s mission at Greenbelt is to help protect the natural lands he grew up admiring. His goal is to improve public accessibility while preserving the wildlife values of Greenbelt’s protected lands.
While not working at Greenbelt, Dave’s conservation work continues as Vice Chair of the Rockport Conservation Commission, Vice President of the Cape Ann Trail Stewards, board member for the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team and as the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Storm Team representative for Rockport.
His conservation career began as the Assistant Land Manager in Amherst, Massachusetts, where for 10 years he oversaw the management of 2,000 acres of conservation lands, was responsible for the delineation of its watershed boundaries, and maintained the town’s 80-mile trail network including the Robert Frost Trail. After leaving Amherst he spent the next five years as the Conservation Land Manager for the Town of Lincoln, Massachusetts, where he was responsible for the stewardship of the town’s trail network, biodiversity fields and helped manage its farm license agreements.
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From the signs and kiosks welcoming the public at Greenbelt properties, to communication of current land campaigns and conservation stories in our newsletters, to promoting outreach events and encouraging activity on our properties through our Greenbelt Guide, Sharon is responsible for enhancing awareness of and constituency for our land conservation efforts.
In 2012, working as a consultant, she spearheaded Greenbelt’s rebranding effort and soon came on staff as Design Manager, meeting our strategic marketing objectives by creating and managing graphic design across all departments.
Prior to joining Greenbelt, Sharon worked for the design firm Fitch/Richardson Smith in Ohio, Boston and London, settling with her husband and children in the North Shore to be near Boston, open countryside and the ocean.
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Shelley joined Greenbelt in 2012 as a member of the development team, before moving to her current position where she is responsible for many aspects of the daily operations of the organization. She manages all financial and human resources matters and works with the President on budgeting and reporting. Shelley also has been the coordinator of Art in the Barn and is responsible for managing our website.
She graduated from UMass Amherst and Antioch University New England with degrees in environmental science and business. Shelley enjoys working at Greenbelt because she has the opportunity to help protect beautiful places, and work with a passionate team of talented staff and volunteers. Shelley enjoys camping, yoga, canoeing, and finding all the best local seafood spots on the North Shore.
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Dave grew up in Groton and spent his childhood hiking, fishing and hunting in the open spaces of central Massachusetts as well as summers on the coast of Maine, where he developed a passion for marine ecosystems. He studied wildlife biology at the University of New Hampshire and began his professional career in 1985 working for The Trustees of Reservations at the nearby Crane Reservation (Crane Beach) and the Crane Wildlife Refuge.
Dave joined Greenbelt in 2001 as the Director of Land Stewardship. He was drawn in the by the diversity of land to manage and the stimulating, ever-changing nature of his job. During his time at Greenbelt, Dave has overseen the successful implementation of conservation restriction and property monitoring programs, the creation of the Osprey Program as well as the oversight of significant construction projects at Greenbelt's headquarters on the Cox Reservation. Dave lives in Newbury with his wife Mary, has two grown sons and enjoys hunting, fishing, and boat picnics on Crane Beach. Dave is also a licensed US Coast Guard captain.
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Jane advances Greenbelt’s land conservation goals by organizing and facilitating member events that engage the public not only with Greenbelt, but with the benefits of public lands throughout Essex County. She works to create a wide variety of programs throughout all corners of Essex County, as well as meeting the needs of all age groups and lifestyles of Greenbelt members. Jane is also part of our efforts to make our reservations and properties accessible to all.
She is prepared for the unexpected on the trails with a certification in Wilderness First Aid. Jane is a former public-school teacher and brings that background to her work educating and reaching out to a new generation of Greenbelt members interested in conservation.
82 Eastern Avenue, Essex,
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.