Wilton land trust hires new executive director

David McCarthy

David McCarthy

Wilton Land Trust / Contributed photo

WILTON — David E. McCarthy has been named executive director of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust. The native of Connecticut began his position on June 1.

“David brings enthusiasm, energy, experience, and a passion for building community and connecting people with nature,” a statement from the land trust said.

“Listening is key,” McCarthy 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 added. “We want to create memorable experiences.”

A member of the board of directors for the South West Regional Conservation District, McCarthy previously worked for the town of Branford, Conn. There he worked for the Department of Inland Wetlands and Natural Resources, promoting community conservation and protecting wetlands through land-use regulation.

He served as the town’s tree warden, established its commitment to Endangered Species Day, and advanced the Branford’s application for the Sustainable CT certificate program.

McCarthy has a master’s degree in 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 web-based environmental journal and radio show, he defined the organization’s brand, tone, and visual identity through social media.

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“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,” Peter W. Gaboriault, the land trust’s board president, said.

McCarthy succeeds Donna Merrill, the trust’s first executive director, whom Gaboriault thanks 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,” he said.

The land trust was established in 1964, and through ownership and conservation easements, is responsible for preserving and protecting about 830 acres in Wilton.

This year, the trust made its most significant acquisition by purchasing 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 more trails and a wide range of new educational programs.

McCarthy said he is looking forward to creating an even more environmentally conscious Wilton, getting more people excited about nature, and fulfilling the land trust’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.