The Lyme Land Conservation Trust (“Land Trust”) was founded in 1966 in Lyme, Connecticut with the aim of conserving the area’s natural, scenic and historic land and water resources. Over the past 50 years, the Land Trust has established itself as a leader in land preservation, acquiring easements and outright land ownership to protect over 100 properties. It has partnered with the Town of Lyme, The Nature Conservancy, and the State to preserve notable properties, provide stewardship for protected land, and offer educational programs and outdoor opportunities for the local community.
The Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which has grown significantly over the years. Lyme is located midway between New York City and Boston. It is a town of approximately 2400 residents and 22,000 acres. Over half of those acres have been protected, 3000 of them by the Land Trust, including 68 easements and 39 in fee properties.
Lyme is a near-coastal community and an important conservation area in the lower Connecticut River valley. The Federal Government has protected hundreds of acres at the mouth of the Connecticut River, and The Nature Conservancy in 2008 identified this stretch of the river as one of the 25 last great places in the western hemisphere. Also, over a third of Lyme is included in the federally designated Eightmile Wild & Scenic River system. And Audubon CT recently recognized the Lyme Forest Block as one of the first landscape-level Important Bird Areas.
In 2013 the Land Trust was accredited by the Land Trust Alliance, attesting to its high standards of governance and oversight. In addition to its successful accumulation of protected property, the Land Trust has established itself as a leading steward in the defense of its easements and its commitment to past donors who have sought to preserve and protect nature and open space.
The Land Trust is overseen by a committed 16 member board of directors who support it both financially and with their time. In addition, the Land Trust has extensive volunteer support from the community, enabling it to provide educational events, trail hikes and other activities in addition to protecting and stewarding its properties and easements.
Last year Visionaries LLC made a film for PBS television featuring the Land Trust and, more broadly, conservation in Lyme. It was introduced by the actor, Sam Waterston, and aired over PBS stations nationwide last winter. The film is available for viewing here.
Executive Director Position
The ED will have the opportunity to lead the Land Trust as it capitalizes on strong community support. Reporting to the Board of Directors and attending all Board and Executive Committee meetings as a non-voting member, the ED will be responsible for overseeing all operations of the Land Trust. In addition to volunteer support provided by the Board and the community, the Land Trust maintains a small paid staff consisting of an Environmental Director and clerical help (to be hired) who report to the ED.
The land trust’s annual budget, excluding acquisitions, is approximately $250,000. The ED’s basic responsibilities include:
- Maintaining and growing membership which represents some 50% of the Lyme community;
- Coordination with the Treasurer to assure responsible budgeting, oversight and overall revenue and expense reporting and management;
- Working with the Board on fund-raising and development in coordination with the Board’s Philanthropy Committee. In addition, the Land Trust sponsors an annual fund-raising cycling event, the Tour de Lyme, which generates $90,000 in revenue, attracts over 700 participants and has strong financial backing in the local community. Running the event comes under the ED’s purview (visit the Tour de Lyme website);
- Coordinating with the Preservation Committee of the Board to identify, facilitate, and arrange funding for the acquisition of new properties to be protected through easements and outright purchase;
- Working closely with the Stewardship Committee of the Board to assure that all the Land Trust’s properties and easements are protected and managed appropriately;
- Coordinating with and overseeing the Environmental Director on all matters involving local preservation activities, environmental education, and support;
- Managing outreach, publicity, communications, and events in coordination with the Board’s Events, Communications and Education committees;
- Participating in the Finance Committee’s quarterly portfolio performance meetings; and
- Ensuring that Land Trust’s activities and procedures comply with the Land Trust Alliance’s certification requirements.
The Land Trust’s next Executive Director must have a strong commitment to the environment, its preservation, and to all the benefits that a beautiful, natural and healthy outdoors can bring to a local community. (S)he will be a proven hard worker with the natural ability to ‘get things done’. The successful candidate will need to work effectively with a variety of constituencies from staff, to the Board, to volunteers, local business leaders and the public. The successful candidate will have experience achieving enterprise goals through consensus building rather than through top down management.
Philanthropy, including annual giving, the donation of land and easements, solicitation of grants, and capital-giving is a crucial part of this job. While the successful candidate may not have a lengthy background in development work, (s)he will lead the Land Trust’s fund-raising activities.
Experience in managing business activities – ideally those of not-for profits — is needed. Financial oversight, budget management, and supervision of volunteer groups and staff are important components of this job.
A background in environmental work and the passion that goes with it is a must. Graduate work in environmental studies would be a plus but not a requirement. The background, knowledge, and enthusiasm for working on all acquisition and stewardship activities is mandatory.
The position offers a competitive salary and benefits.
To apply, send Resume, Cover Letter and two professional references by email to the President of the Land Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “Executive Director Job Application.”