The Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) announces the appointment of Ryan Mann as its new executive director. He succeeds Peggy Stevens.
Mr. Mann has spent the last five years as the outreach and stewardship coordinator for the Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) in Harwich. As executive director, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Trust while continuing its unique relationship with the Trustees of Reservations with whom they share an office located at Town Farm on Drift Road.
During his tenure with HCT, Mann promoted land stewardship on over 70 open space properties. He organized and created new programs including a successful volunteer river herring count, volunteer survey crew, and a residential summer college internship program.
Mr. Mann has also been the director of Cape Challenge for the past four years. The organization promotes character building to young adults through traditional seamanship skills and team-building. Through his leadership, the organization has represented the United States in the bi-annual Atlantic Challenge International Contest of Seamanship.
“I am honored to be joining WLCT and look forward to meeting with members of the community that have so generously supported the Trust’s great work over the years,” Mann said. “I am excited to become part of such an enthusiastic and well respected group of people to conserve working landscapes and open space.”
WLCT was founded in 1972 by a group of citizens dedicated to preserving Westport’s natural resources. Since then, the Land Trust has joined the efforts of town and state agencies to help many Westport property owners protect their land and ensure the unique rural character of Westport.
“Ryan, with his diverse background and enthusiasm, will allow the WLCT to further its goal of engaging the community more broadly in the town’s wonderful protected working and open spaces,” said Trip Millikin, WLCT president.
Mr. Mann grew up in Putnam County, NY, in the Hudson Valley at a time when many of the dairy farms in the area were going out of business. His interest in land conservation led him to help promote awareness of the natural resources of the area by guiding canoe trips with the Putnam County Land Trust.
“Unfortunately, by the time I left my family home, most of the small family farms in the area were gone,” he said.
Prior to joining HCT in 2008, Mr. Mann worked as an on-board fisheries observer for the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. He has also worked as a raft guide, an alpine ski instructor, sailing coach and park ranger.