Woodcock Nature Center today announced that Henryk Teraszkiewicz has departed as executive director. Karen Ogden, a former member of the Board of Directors and four-year resident of Ridgefield, has been named executive director on an interim basis while the board conducts a search for a permanent executive director.
“Henryk has made many important contributions over the past 15 years to WNC’s successful evolution into a key resource for the community and advocate for education and the environment,” said Hiroko Muraki Gottlieb, president of the nature center board. “He has grown the reach of the center tremendously and defined an important mission that will be built upon by future leadership, all while building strong collaboration with other organizations within our communities. On behalf of the board, I want to thank Henryk for his outstanding service and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Teraszkiewicz said he was “proud of WNC’s accomplishments and the growth we’ve seen in the past 15 years. We have challenged ourselves to deliver on bold plans while continuously finding new ways to provide better experiences for members, visitors, campers and schools that interact with the nature center. The mission of WNC is an important one and something I look forward to seeing continue to evolve in the future. I am confident that WNC will enjoy on-going success and support from the community. After 15 years I’m excited to get back to my roots as an educator and pursue opportunities to help reconnect children to nature on an even greater scale.”
Muraki Gottlieb said the board would focus on operational excellence and continued growth, and said Ogden is well-prepared to step into the interim position.
“Ogden has been working very closely with Teraszkiewicz and the staff over the past six months as a part of the WNC Development Committee in addition to her board role; thus is intimate with all the workings of WNC,” she said. “She also brings 20 years of corporate experience to the role and a graduate certificate in environmental sustainability from Harvard University Extension School on top of an MBA from the University of Chicago. She is very familiar with our strategy and operations and we are confident WNC won’t miss a beat as she steps in to lead the center during this transitional period.”
Upcoming programming at the nature center includes the 7th Annual “Where The Wild Things Run” 5K and Family Fun Run on Oct. 18, the Fall Family Fun Prowl on Oct. 23, and the very popular Holiday Wreath Making Festival in early December. More information may be found at woodcocknaturecenter.org.
The Woodcock Nature Center has been a private, nonprofit source of nature and environmental education since 1972. The full-time staff works with local protected wildlife to serve as a resource for educating the community about its natural surroundings through public outreach, school field trips and visits, on-site birthday parties and popular summer camps.
The nature center’s 149 acres of state-protected land includes a pond, wetlands and three miles of publicly accessible woodland trails.