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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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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 everyday 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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Vanessa credits a childhood living on Cape Cod and frequent trips to the White Mountains with giving her the love of open space that she has now. She saw how quickly the Cape's fragile coastal landscapes succumbed to development through the 80s and 90s and knew from a young age that she wanted to do something to protect it. She began her career working out West; first in Oregon, then the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and landed her first land trust job in Napa, California. In 2005, Vanessa moved back to Massachusetts to be closer to family, working first in the Dept. of Conservation & Recreation’s land conservation department before starting with Greenbelt in 2010. Vanessa was inspired by Greenbelt’s success, strong reputation, and the diversity of Essex County's lands, waters, and people. She loves working with landowners to help them achieve their conservation goals for their land. Vanessa lives in Amesbury, and enjoys visiting Essex County’s many local farm stands, hiking, running, bicycling and kayaking.
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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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Alexandra grew up in Indiana and moved to Massachusetts for college. Upon arriving, she fell in love with being near the ocean and decided to settle here following graduation. Alexandra has always had a passion for the non-profit world and the outdoors and she joyfully accepted the opportunity to combine those two passions when she joined us in 2016. She is excited to be a part of the local conservation efforts and to help protect Essex County’s wildlife and open space. She lives in Newburyport and loves to bake; she would spend her day off baking up a batch of cookies or whipping up a pie!
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Sharon joined Greenbelt in 2012, following a long career in graphic design. She grew up in the mid-west, has a degree in Industrial Design from Ohio State University, and worked for the design firm Fitch/Richardson Smith in Ohio, Boston and London. Sharon first began her work for Greenbelt as a consultant, spearheading Greenbelt’s rebranding effort, and soon joined us full time. She has always wanted to design for an outdoor-focused organization, so this is truly her ideal job. She lives in Wenham with her family and loves walking in Essex County, whether it be in the woods, on the beaches or any open area with a view of the water.
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Shelley joined Greenbelt in 2012 working with the development team, before moving to her current position. 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 be with a wonderful, passionate team of talented people. Shelley lives in Salem and enjoys hiking, 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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Mary joined Greenbelt in 2011 after working closely with us for and other members of the Great Marsh Coalition for several years while serving the Essex National Heritage Commission. Prior to her non-profit career, she worked as a client relationship manager for IBM. Her favorite part of her job is helping people understand the importance of Greenbelt's work and that it truly lasts forever. She is proud to be able to promote Greenbelt’s work for all audiences to enjoy. Mary lives in Salisbury and enjoys gardening, golf and stand-up paddle boarding.
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.