Letter From Our New Trust President – Rich Strazdas


Letter From Our New Trust President – Rich Strazdas & Welcome to new VP – Mark Minnucci

Welcome from Rich Strazdas, your new Westford Conservation Trust president. You may have seen my name as Saturday hike leader, or trail book editor. Now I have stepped up to fill the shoes of outgoing president, Dave Ebitson. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave for his strong leadership, dedication & work ethic. We truly admire the enthusiasm & passion he brought to the Trust during his tenure as president. Luckily, Dave has agreed to continue as a board member and as chair of our Land & Trails committee.

What is my background story? I come from the software industry. (Okay, yawn! But it helps with data analysis and map making.) I have been a hiker for over fifty years, exploring the White Mountains and wherever my travels take me. New Hampshire 4000-footers? Done. Twice. Redlining is my current passion. This means hiking every bit of the 1420 miles of trails in the Whites. I’m 69.94% done (yes, there’s a spreadsheet for that) which sounds like a lot, but it also means over 400 miles to go.

I found the Trust in 2009 when family kept me in Westford most weekends and I wanted to update the best available trail maps in town. “Hello, my name is Rich, and I’m a mapoholic.” The Snake Meadow Trail map in process is shown in the picture. I found a passionate community that welcomed me and was glad to accommodate my volunteer spirit. I learned about trail maintenance, blazing, invasives, stream monitoring, public relations, website maintenance, town liaisons, property monitoring, Boy/Girl Scout mentoring, running meetings, taking minutes, … Hey, have I been training for the presidency?

Dave’s legacy includes keeping trails clear of blowdowns, completing the blazing of trails, advocating for property donation, and sustaining the objectives of his predecessors. Where will I make my mark? Perhaps in membership and volunteer recruitment. Perhaps in interpretive trails. Dr. Seuss said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” I like the walking/hiking analogy.

Where will you steer yourself? Do you have a few hours per week or month to share your passion of hiking or conservation with like-minded individuals? The worst that could happen is you spiral into the vortex known as volunteerism and maybe end up president of your local land trust. I think that’s possible.

New Vice President – Mark Minnucci

We would also like to welcome our new Vice President, Mark Minnucci – welcome Mark!!   check out his video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrqPCrZkxbM