Van Allen of Willistown Trust aside – Daily Local

NEWTOWN SQUARE — On Tuesday, one of Chester County’s major land conservation organizations announced a leadership change, the co-founder resigned, and one of the assistants took over as leader.

After 25 years as President and Secretary-General of the Willistown Conservation Trust, Bonnie Van Allen begins a new role as President of Emerita, in addition to being a member of the organization’s board of directors. As of last Friday, longtime trusted volunteer Catherine “Kate” W. Etherington has taken on the role of Van Allen’s secretary-general.

“Without Bonnie’s foresight, diligence and determination, the landscape of Willistown would look completely different,” says Van Allen’s successor, Etherington. “Her ability to build trust in a small land in today’s organizations with thriving programs and community events is amazing. It’s exciting to see, learn and learn the leadership of other women in our community.”

Van Allen’s land conservation heritage began more than 40 years ago when he expressed concern about developments that threatened the countryside of Willistown, where he lived with his husband Jim and three boys. In the early 1980s, Van Allen quit his job at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and launched a satellite program under the Brandywine Sanctuary with the aim of protecting the town’s land with a conservation easement.

After years of successful conservation easement negotiations (90 total) that affected Willistown and the conservation community since then, Van Allen was blessed by President Van Allen of Conservation President Floric Weimas in 1996. In 1945, he formed an independent organization in partnership with his friend and current councilor, Alice Hausman.

“From the beginning, Bonnie committed to her vision and put it into action. Her passion for nature and her desire to share that passion with others dominates everything she does. “I’ll let you know everything we’ve achieved over 40 years,” said Houseman, wife of Peter Houseman, one of the leaders in the open space conservation movement. In a press release from the Trust in Chester County.

The organization, called the Willis Town Conservation Trust, immediately began protecting public trail easements in a riding-friendly township, and in addition to further completing protected easements with landowners, Ash We have created three public nature reserves: the Bridge Reserve, the Kirkwood Reserve, and the Rushton Woods Reserve. Under Van Alen’s leadership, trust has grown to more than 25 employees, 22 board members and hundreds of volunteers, and today it is bird conservation, community farms, education and outreach, land conservation and stewardship. Ships and basins.

Etherington joined the Trust staff in 2020 as Associate Executive Director. She regularly volunteered at Rushton Farm and became acquainted with Trust and Van Allen many years ago while serving as a member of the board. Van Allen says Etherington, who holds a master’s degree in non-profit leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and has extensive management experience in the non-profit sector, is a natural fir.

“This organization will be incredibly good,” she said. “Kate is a wonderful, passionate, skilled and nice person to work with. Knowing that she will take on the role of secretary makes me comfortable to stand aside. It is one of the main factors that made it. “

As Secretary-General, Etherington will continue to focus on land conservation and significant assets in the Willistown area, as well as smaller plots that contribute to larger green roads. In addition, she wants to invest in many programs of the Trust and expand her education and support activities at the organization’s beautiful Rushton Conservation Center to reach a wider and diverse group of people inside and outside the region.

In her new role, Van Allen continues to spend time on the trust’s goal of saving an additional 4,000 acres.

In addition to its conservation efforts at the Trust, Van Allen is a non-profit organization, Delchester Group, Inc., established to acquire and store significant assets by reselling to protection-minded buyers. He is also a co-founder of. Within the 28,000 acres of trust priority, it protects more than 7,500 acres and the Delchester Group is responsible for saving more than 2,000 acres.

To contact staff writer Michael P. Rerahan, call 610-696-1544.

Van Allen of Willistown Trust aside – Daily Local

Source link Van Allen of Willistown Trust aside – Daily Local

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