EAST CHARLESTON — Maria Young was recently named new executive director at NorthWoods.
Young has served the organization for over 10 years as education director.
She is recognized by the organization and its partners for her connection to the people and places of the Northeast Kingdom, her optimism about the positive impact that NorthWoods has on both human and natural communities, and her effectiveness at working with others to accomplish goals.
“Maria is passionate about NorthWoods, its mission and values and loves to share compelling stories of ongoing conservation work,” said President of the Board Cathie Wheeler. “As a natural leader, she is highly regarded and respected by staff, community members, as well as the partners and stakeholders of the organization.”
Young’s appreciation of the culture and landscape of the Northeast Kingdom formed in childhood, growing up on her family farm in West Glover.
Maria graduated from Middlebury College with a major in environmental studies, and in 2002, worked at NorthWoods as an assistant crew leader for the Conservation Corps.
That summer, she built trails in remote locations in the newly created Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge, providing a foundation for conservation service that continues to influence her today.
In her role as education director, she has developed and facilitated dynamic programming that empowers others to engage with the natural world and has helped to support the growth that has marked the last five years at NorthWoods.
As the executive director, Young says she is excited to leverage this experience and her connections in the region to grow NorthWoods’ capacity to serve as a hub for conservation education and action in the community.
“I believe this goal is supported by state-wide initiatives that highlight the ecological and economic value of improving water quality and keeping forests connected, promoting climate change resilience, ensuring sustainable access to recreation, and values leadership opportunities for youth,” Young said.