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Barbara Erickson

Trustees President & CEO
2012 - Present

Since joining in 2012, Barbara has been leading The Trustees to move the mandate of its founder and open space visionary, Charles Eliot, another step forward to engage a broader constituency in healthy, active living and a stronger connection to nature and culture. In doing so, she has focused on transforming The Trustees and expanding its impact as the state’s largest conservation and preservation non-profit dedicated to enriching the lives of Massachusetts residents and visitors, using the organization’s 117 natural, cultural, and agricultural properties located throughout the Commonwealth to welcome over 2 million visitors annually. Under her leadership, The Trustees has experienced the highest income, program, and membership growth in the non-profit’s history.

During her tenure, Barbara has nearly doubled the size of The Trustees, significantly expanding and enhancing The Trustees’ public program offerings, visitor services, strategic partnerships, and volunteer programs to involve more constituents in The Trustees’ mission-critical work. She has strengthened the organization’s commitment to excellent property care and has guided The Trustees in its efforts to acquire important new properties and conserve critical lands that contribute to the fabric of Massachusetts, adding eight new reservations across the state and thousands of protected acres. Barbara has led the integration of many non-profits into The Trustees’ family including Boston Natural Areas Network, The Farm Institute (Edgartown), Fruitlands Museum (Harvard) and is currently working with deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Lincoln) to achieve integration. In the past few years, she has also expanded The Trustees’ leadership role in Boston proper, establishing headquarters where the organization was originally founded in 1891, promoting the local food system through growing the organization’s 56 community gardens and educational programs, serving as a founding partner of the Boston Public Market, and pursuing The Trustees’ One Waterfront Initiative, a significant multi-year effort to create iconic, resilient open space on Boston’s waterfront.

Barbara currently serves as a council member of the Land Trust Alliance and a board member of the Newton Schools Foundation. She is a frequent speaker on topics of conservation and community and has delivered several keynote addresses to a wide array of organizations and efforts. She was awarded the distinguished Elizabeth Craig Weaver Proctor Medal by the Garden Club of America in May, 2017, named Conservationist of the Year by Northshore Magazine in 2017, and has been named in the Commonwealth Institute and Boston Globe Magazine’s Annual Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts survey for five consecutive years. Barbara received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Westfield State University for her work to advance women leadership in the environment and holds a BA in Arts & Letters, English from Northern Arizona University. She lives in Newton with her husband Peter and two children.