Last week our Board and staff “celebrated” (not quite the right word) the retirement of four board members. I realized as I looked around the room that only three of our fourteen board members were here when I started in 2006. I find it heartening, the way we pass the baton – because land protection is forever and that responsibility is passed from generation to generation.
No one exemplifies a generational torch being passed more than Lloyd Williams who has served on our Board for 37 of our 40 years. Lloyd Williams is answering the call of grandchildren, but he’ll continue to serve on our Lands Committee, where he has been part of every one of our 42 deals.
Patty Quillin heard a different call – and has become active in prison reform after spending time with prisoners in San Quentin over the past year.
Past board chair and vice chair, Katherine Beiers and Val Cole termed off after nine years on the board, years that covered the protection of San Vicente Redwoods, Star Creek Ranch, and the land around the future wildlife tunnel under Highway 17.
These are some big hiking boots to fill. Joining the board this year is Kathleen Rose, an avocado grower outside Watsonville. She is the 6th new board member in two years. Other new board members include Donna Murphy (2016) our new board chair and Tom Burns (2017) our new vice chair. You can see the full list of our board and their bios here.
With all this coming and going, only about half of the current board were here when we adopted our Conservation Blueprint (in 2011) and our current Strategic Plan (in 2015). This year we’re going to go back to review these plans which guide our work.
All this change reminds us that the work of protecting this place we love goes on year after year, decade after decade (entering our fifth decade!). Some, like Lloyd, have been with the Land Trust almost from the beginning. Others have just joined us. As some step down, others step up – that’s how we protect what we love, generation after generation.