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Cecil Land Trust Hires First Executive Director

Cecil County, Maryland — Cecil Land Trust (CLT) has hired its first full time Executive Director and made a significant leap forward in its capacity to meet its mission of protecting farms, forests and water resources in Cecil County. Beth Burnam, formerly, of Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art in Pennsylvania, will join Cecil Land Trust and lead the organization in its determination to have growing positive impact on conservation in Cecil County.

For the past twenty years, Cecil Land Trust’s volunteer Board of Directors, under the leadership of Board President Bill Kilby, has worked to protect approximately 3,000 acres of farm and forestlands in Cecil County. CLT has also participated in water protection through stream bank restoration projects and worked to educate the general community on the importance of conservation to protecting public health, quality of life, and the agricultural economy in Cecil County. Each year, CLT sponsors the Cycle for Cecil event, a series of rides through the beautiful conserved lands of Cecil County.

“It has been an honor, a privilege, and the right thing to do to help make sure farmlands and forestlands will be here now and for our future generations,” stated CLT President, Bill Kilby. “Conservation is vital to our own health as well as the health of our local economy. I am very enthusiastic about all that CLT will be able to accomplish going forward under the leadership of Beth Burnam, our new full time Executive Director.”

Ms. Burnam is a Registered Landscape Architect and brings to her new position a wealth of land conservation experience. She joins CLT from her previous position as Senior Planner for Natural Resources at Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art, which works in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware, immediately adjacent to Cecil County. Ms. Burnam’s prior experience also includes conservation-focused positions with the Virginia Department of Forestry and the Piedmont Environmental Council where she worked in rural communities of working farms and forests. Collectively, Ms. Burnam’s experience has built a wide-range of expertise including land conservation, municipal planning and effective cooperation with such conservation stakeholders as farmers and state and national conservation agencies.

“These beautiful farms and forests at the top of the Bay connect Cecil County’s people to a rich history, provide local food and fiber, and enable a vibrant agricultural economy as well as vital access to open space,” Ms. Burnam affirms. “Preserving and restoring these working lands is Cecil Land Trust’s legacy gift to future generations and I am pleased to join in that important work.”

A plow in a farm field
Cecil Land Trust’s work has helped to protect approximately 3,000 acres of land in Cecil County, including this 152-acre farm along Biggs Highway in Rising Sun.

“We are thrilled that Beth Burnam will be joining CLT as its first Executive Director,” confirms Virginia Kennedy, CLT board member and WNA teacher and Director of Sustainability. “Beth is excited to take a leadership position and excited about the potential of CLT to grow as an effective professional land trust. We at CLT are excited about Beth’s ideas, passion, and obvious leadership qualities.”

Ms. Burnam begins work with CLT in mid-September and can be contacted via email at beth@cecillandtrust.org.