Wilton Land Conservation Trust Announces New Executive Director

Earlier this week the Wilton Land Conservation Trust announced the appointment of David E. McCarthy as its new executive director. Land Trust officials say that McCarty, a Connecticut native, “brings enthusiasm, energy, experience, and a passion for building community and connecting people with nature.”

“Listening is key,” he said. “I’m new to the community, eager to listen to folks, and to get to know the Town so we can develop the types of educational, recreational, and community enrichment programs that it would like to see more of,” he said, adding, “We want to create memorable experiences.

McCarthy earned his Master’s of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His graduate work concentrated on forestry, natural resource management, climate change adaptation, and policy, as well as the practice of values-based communication and resilience. As the lead writer and graphic designer for Yale Climate Connections (a multimedia web-based environmental journal and radio show), he defined the organization’s brand, tone, and visual identity through the development and management of diverse narratives for social media.

He sits on the Board of Directors for the South West Regional Conservation District and comes to Wilton from the Town of Branford, CT, where he worked for the Department of Inland Wetlands and Natural Resources. There, he empowered community conservation, protected wetlands through land use regulation, served as the Town’s Tree Warden, established the Town’s commitment to Endangered Species Day, and advanced the Town’s application for the Sustainable CT certificate program.

“The Board of Trustees of the WLCT is thrilled to add someone with David’s skills, education, and enthusiasm to our team. His passion for the natural world will be an asset to all of Wilton. We would also like to thank Donna Merrill, our first-ever executive director, for her three years of hard work. She took us to a new and higher level and we are sure David will do the same,” said Peter W. Gaboriault, Board President.

Since its establishment in 1964, the Wilton Land Conservation Trust has remained true to its mission:  protecting nature and preventing the loss of Wilton’s unique natural, scenic, historical, and recreational values. Through ownership and conservation easements, it is responsible for preserving and protecting about 830-acres.

This year, the WLCT purchased 183 Ridgefield Road to preserve it as open space. This newly protected 13-acre haven provides habitat for a variety of species in decline, maintains the feeling of Wilton’s rural past, and will soon be home to new exhibits, more trails, and a wide range of new and exciting educational programs that will benefit Wilton, and beyond. The nonprofit’s efforts are made possible by the leadership of its all-volunteer Board of Trustees, the dedication of its interns and volunteers, and through the generous support of local citizens, primarily through membership donations.

McCarthy said he is looking forward to creating an even more environmentally conscious Wilton, getting more people excited about nature, and fulfilling WLCT’s mission of conserving and protecting land for future generations to enjoy. “I have an open-door policy, and I want to hear from you,” he said.