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New NFA Executive Director Hosts Bonfire Meet & Greet



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As the sun began to set, visitors trekked up the driveway to the top of Holcombe Hill Wildlife Preserve to enjoy a casual gathering Newtown Forest Association (NFA) hosted November 20. The event was originally scheduled to take place the previous weekend, but it was postponed due to rain.

The public was invited to meet NFA’s first executive director Trent McCann and various NFA board members in attendance.

Everyone was bundled in coats but as each newcomer arrived, people warmly welcomed them with conversation and a spot by the bonfire.

Guests were also able to go inside the nearby building to indulge in a variety of autumn snacks and refreshments, as well as indoor heat.

NFA volunteers Charles Zukowski and Glenn Boyle, who are also members of the Newtown Bike & Trails Committee, shared that they hope more people explore NFA’s open space and trails.

Boyle noted he is excited to have McCann join NFA and that he is single-handedly doing so much for the organization.

Newtown resident Ed Kelleher, who has been an NFA board member since 2002, told The Newtown Bee that McCann has been doing a “great job” as executive director.

He added that McCann really had to “hit the ground running” in terms of starting his new position with NFA and then getting the paperwork done for the organization’s accreditation.

Public Input Sought

The land trust accreditation program, according to a recent NFA press release, recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Newtown Forest Association is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open.

According to the release, “The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. Renewal of our accreditation means that the community can continue to trust that the NFA is doing everything in our power to protect open spaces with integrity and transparency.”

The public can share input on how NFA complies with national quality standards that address the technical and ethical operation of a land trust.

For more information on the list of standards, visit landtrustaccreditation.org/help-and-resources/indicator-practices.

Comments are requested by December 31. Visit landtrustaccreditation.org to learn more and/or make comments. Comments can also be submitted via e-mail to info@landtrustaccreditation.org, faxed to, 518-587-3183, or via USPS to Land Trust Accreditation Commission — Attn Public Comments, 36 Phila Street — Suite 2, Saratoga Springs NY 12866.

Reporter Alissa Silber can be reached at alissa@thebee.com.

Newtown Forest Association (NFA) hosted a casual outdoor event at Holcombe Hill Wildlife Preserve for members of the public to meet its new executive director, Trent McCann, fourth from right, on November 20. —Bee Photos, Silber
Newtown Forest Association Executive Director Trent McCann chats with Bethel resident Keli Leaden and her twin daughters Maura and McKenna Leaden at the meet and greet event.
Newtown Forest Association owns and maintains multiple open space properties in town including Holcombe Hill Wildlife Preserve, where last month’s outdoor event was held. Holcombe Hill Wildlife Preserve is on Great Hill Road and covers 86 acres.
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