MOUNTAINVILLE – The Orange County Land Trust wants to reach out to the next generation of potential conservation leaders and supporters to increase awareness of the organization’s mission.


Toward that end, the land trust has tapped Kelsey Lain Gurda, of Westtown, to chair a new next generation engagement committee to help develop and implement a strategic plan for education, marketing, events and fundraising.


“Securing our organization’s future will also help ensure the future of conservation,’’ said Will Brown, president of the land trust’s board, in a statement. “Covering the basics about who we are and what we do is an essential first step (to understanding) why saving land is our priority.”


Brown listed clean water, fresh air, storm water control, carbon capture, farming and recreation among the benefits of the land trust’s conservation program.


Gurda, whose family has farmed in Orange County for nine generations and owns the 800-acre Pine Island Turf Nursery, said the committee’s work appealed to her because “I can help leave behind a future for my little ones so that they can pass along these same traditions.”


Her relatives include the late Art Lain, a founding board member of the land trust, and his nephew, Lewis Lain, a current board member.


Other members of the committee include:


- Colin Coyne, of Cornwall, owner of Storm King Adventure Tours, which offers kayaking on the Hudson River, and beekeeper at the Storm King Art Center;


- Jason Ketcham, of Mount Hope, a son of dairy farmers and an electrical engineer as well as president of the local branch of the Quality Deer Management Association;


- Sarah Pawliczak, of Newburgh, a biologist in the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Bureau of Ecosystem Health, and


- Jenna Corti, of Greenwood Lake, a mechanical engineering student at SUNY New Paltz and owner of Sol Seed, a natural products business and yoga studio.


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