Advocate for Land and Communities Joins Team to Deepen Conservation in the NEK

pasture with wildflowers and farmstead in distance - Vermont

VLT welcomes Kerry O’Brien of Newark 

For immediate release: November 18, 2021

NEWARK, VT—Experienced conservationist Kerry O’Brien has joined the Vermont Land Trust as Project Director for the Northeast Kingdom, the land trust announced today.

“Many in the area know Kerry from her great work at the Caledonia County Natural Resources Conservation District, where she overlapped with VLT in many ways over the years,” said Tracy Zschau, Vice President for Conservation at the Vermont Land Trust. “Kerry has been closely involved with the NEK’s landscape and way of life for decades, and we’re thrilled to have her onboard.”

O’Brien joins other Northeast Kingdom staff at VLT to expand and deepen the land trust’s work in the region, focusing on new conservation projects and providing ongoing support for protected land.

O’Brien has been involved with land, communities, and conservation in the Northeast Kingdom for two decades. “We got to meet Kerry early on, when she volunteered with us 20 years ago,” added Zschau. “It’s been exciting to see her grow from volunteer to trusted partner, and it’s wonderful to now have her join our team.”

O’Brien was District Manager for the Caledonia County Natural Resources Conservation District for 17 years, working with farmers, landowners, municipalities, and community members in the region. Her efforts were focused on clean water, habitat restoration, river health, and flood resiliency—programs that are also central to the mission of the land trust. In addition to coordinating many water quality projects during her career, O’Brien has been deeply involved in building organizational capacity to achieve more impact with her work.

“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with VLT and take this new direction in my career. The people of the NEK deeply value their farms, forests, and open lands, and work hard to care for and enjoy the landscape,” says O’Brien. “Balancing the unique culture of the region and its incredible natural resources is important to me, and I’m excited to continue working here to help people care for the land.”