Veteran Conservationist Named Vice President for Field Operations

Contact Information
Kristi Perry
Manager of Public Relations
781.784.0567 x7003

Sharon, MA – The Trustees of Reservations announced today that Kathy Abbott, former Massachusetts Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, is joining the organization as Vice President for Field Operations.

Abbott’s new job puts her in charge of The Trustees’ extensive field staff and the day-to-day operations of 96 reservations, including such beloved properties as Castle Hill and Crane Beach on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Appleton Farms in Ipswich and Hamilton, Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, World’s End in Hingham, the Old Manse in Concord, Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge on Nantucket and Wasque on Martha’s Vineyard. In all, The Trustees own and manage 25,000 acres across the Commonwealth, all of which are open to the public.

Abbott comes to The Trustees just as the organization, the nation’s oldest regional land trust and nonprofit conservation organization, wraps up a capital campaign that raised $63 million in cash and another $35 million in land. The Trustees are now starting to implement a new strategic plan. Citing the dramatic rate at which land is being lost to development, The Trustees are launching a bold new initiative to link open space preservation to quality of life for all people in Massachusetts. The plan calls for a broader and more diverse board and workforce, an emphasis on volunteerism, a new focus on education and outreach, and establishing partnerships with a broad array of individuals, communities and organizations to grow an energized and vocal conservation community.

“We are thrilled to have Kathy Abbott join our management team,” says Andy Kendall, President of The Trustees of Reservations. “Kathy is a deeply committed conservationist, a visionary leader, and a talented and effective manager. She brings the energy, creativity and passion we need to succeed as we work toward our new strategic objectives and inspire a new generation of conservationists.”

Kathy Abbott began her career in conservation and recreation in her early twenties as a park ranger in the Boston Harbor Islands. She received her Bachelors Degree in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from UMass Amherst and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard. At the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, she was Assistant Secretary for Land Policy during the last two years of the Dukakis Administration and then Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Management under Governor Weld.

Outside of government, she has served as Chief Operating Officer of the School for Field Studies, and was the founding Executive Director of the Island Alliance. She became Commissioner of DCR in 2003 and is now Director of the Conservation and Recreation Campaign at the Trust for Public Land.

“In the last several years, Massachusetts has fallen off the charts from being a national leader in the creative protection and management of land for public benefit, to last place,” says Kathy Abbott. “For over 116 years, The Trustees have made significant strides in protecting thousands of acres of open land, preserving the distinctive character of our communities and improving overall quality of life in our Commonwealth. I am excited about the opportunity to work with this highly esteemed and established organization to raise public awareness and a sense of urgency about conservation issues statewide.”

Abbott will join The Trustees on April 1, 2007. She replaces Tom Foster, a veteran of 30 years with The Trustees of Reservations, who retired in December.

About The Trustees of Reservations
Founded in 1891, The Trustees of Reservations is the nation’s oldest regional land trust and nonprofit conservation organization. Supported by more than 40,000 individual and family members, The Trustees protect Massachusetts’ natural and historic resources for everyone to enjoy. From working farms to historic homesteads, barrier beaches to mountain vistas, The Trustees own and manage nearly 25,000 acres on 96 reservations in 70 communities across Massachusetts – all open to the public. Trustees’ properties include four National Historic Landmarks, a National Natural Landmark, and seven properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Trustees hold perpetual conservation restrictions on nearly 16,000 acres – more than any other conservation organization in Massachusetts – permanently protecting scenic and natural areas from development. The Trustees have also assisted in the protection of nearly 16,000 additional acres.

The Trustees employ 150 full-time and 400 seasonal staff with expertise in many areas, including ecology, education, historic resources, land protection, conservation, land management, and planning. To find out how you can interview Trustees’ experts on important topics and issues, volunteer, donate, become a member or learn more about our properties and programs for all ages, please call The Trustees of Reservations at 781.784.0567, visit our website at, or email us at