Carrie Kinne, executive director of the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) for the past 13 years, departed the Bath-based land conservation organization at the end of May. She will begin a new adventure, closer to her North Yarmouth home, when she takes over as executive director of the Freeport Conservation Trust.
Kinne said, “I am very proud of KELT'staff, who allow me to leave the organization in capable, caring hands. When I arrived at KELT, I was brand new to land trust work. I am grateful to KELT's Board of Directors and our supportive communities for taking a chance and allowing me to learn, grow, and help make KELT the successful organization it is today.”
During Kinne’s time at KELT, the organization has grown from a staff of two to a staff of five as well as a large cast of interns, volunteers, and community partners, and has permanently protected over 4,117 acres of land from development. Kinne also oversaw KELT’s increased community involvement through its education and community science programs in schools and towns around the Kennebec Estuary, its efforts to promote the availability of and access to local foods, and its part in the push toward regional and statewide trail networks.
“It’s tough to imagine KELT without Carrie and her dynamism being part of it,” said KELT’s Board President, Reeve Wood, “but renewal is important and one of Carrie’s biggest accomplishments was to leave us with a really strong staff that, together with our membership and volunteers, will see us through this change and use it as a chance to build an even stronger organization.”
The KELT Board of Directors has appointed Becky Kolak, formerly KELT’s program director, as acting executive eirector, and will conduct an organizational assessment before beginning the search for a permanent replacement.
“We’re very lucky to have Becky to step into this role,” says Wood, “she has the knowledge and relationships to keep KELT working, and that gives us a chance to take a good look in the mirror and be very thoughtful about what we need to look for in our next executive director.”
More information about KELT’s conservation work within the Kennebec Estuary region, upcoming summertime events, trails to hike, and ways to volunteer can be found at on the land trust’s website, www.kennebecestuary.org. For those interested in making a secure online gift in honor of Kinne’s tenure with the organization, visit the Support page on KELT’s website and check the ‘Dedicate my gift in honor of someone’ box.