Justin Elicker named executive director of the New Haven Land Trust

Feb 13th, 2014 | By | Category: Land

The Board of Directors of the New Haven Land Trust has announced that Justin Elicker has been named Executive Director.

Justin Elicker (contributed)

Justin Elicker (contributed)

Elicker’s appointment to lead the 32-year-old environmental organization comes after a comprehensive search and selection process. He was chosen from a highly competitive pool of 53 candidates and was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors. The search followed a thorough assessment of the organization’s staffing structure with expert assistance from Interim Executive Director Catherine Bradshaw. The Land Trust maintains nature preserves, manages a city-wide community gardening program, and offers environmental education programs.

“Justin is a seasoned community leader who brings incredible energy, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the mission of the New Haven Land Trust,” said J.R. Logan, chairman of the Board of Directors. “The Board of Directors is absolutely committed to growing the New Haven Land Trust’s impact in our community— Justin is unquestionably the person to make it happen.”

Professionally, Elicker has worked with the Yale Office of Sustainability and served as a sustainability consultant to numerous companies. He has a dual master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Yale School of Management. Elicker’s community and environmental leadership includes the Friends of East Rock Park, which he reinvigorated with Cedar Hill resident Betty Thompson, and New Haven Green Drinks, which he co-founded. He served for four years on the New Haven Board of Aldermen, spearheading environmental initiatives and serving as an informal advisor to the Food Policy Council. In these roles, he worked with community members, recruited and managed volunteers, and developed leaders. Most recently, he completed a city-wide campaign for mayor. As a candidate, he demonstrated his ability to effectively lead a large-scale outreach effort, raise funds and motivate staff and volunteers to engage thousands of people across the city. Elicker’s strong communication skills include an ability to speak Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

“I am thrilled to take on this challenge as executive director,” Elicker said. “As the state’s first urban land trust and one of New Haven’s pioneers of urban agriculture, the Land Trust has a history of being visionary while delivering a direct and positive impact on the daily lives of our city’s residents. I look forward to building upon the Land Trust’s strong relationships with communities throughout the city to increase access to healthy food, foster environmental stewardship and facilitate strengthening connections within and across all of New Haven’s neighborhoods.”

As part-time executive director, Elicker will manage all aspects of the organization’s administration and programs. He will also be charged with organizing and strengthening the Land Trust’s already robust network of volunteers in running programs, raising funds and increasing the visibility of the organization. Working with the garden manager and dozens of volunteer garden coordinators, he will oversee the Land Trust’s 50 community vegetable gardens across the city. He also will supervise the care and management of the Land Trust’s 80 acres of property, including major projects to improve habitats and public access at Pond Lily, Long Wharf, and Quinnipiac Meadows/Eugene Fargeorge preserves this year. He will also invigorate the Land Trust’s environmental education programs to bring more people to the preserves.

Elicker will start in this position on Feb. 24. The public is invited to meet him at the Land Trust’s annual meeting on April 6. (Time and location to be announced.) Anyone interested in learning more about or volunteering with the New Haven Land Trust can sign up for updates at: http://www.newhavenlandtrust.org/updates

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