Caption: Julia McLeod is the new executive director of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. (ERNEST MACK PHOTO)
Julia McLeod was confirmed as executive director of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust by a unanimous vote of the organization’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday, Aug. 16. McLeod had been serving as the Land Trust’s acting executive director since February, during a transition period following the retirement of HHLT’s former executive director, Reed Coles. The new position is effective immediately.
McLeod, a Maine native and graduate of the College of the Atlantic, came to the Land Trust in 2012 after working in journalism, natural resource management and education. At HHLT, she created the position of outreach coordinator and then outreach director, overseeing community activities that include nature walks, historical programs and the popular Nature Day Camp, which has expanded each year under her guidance. This summer, the weeklong outdoor sessions for children ages 4-12 have served 166 campers.
Wendy Batson, president of HHLT’s 15-member volunteer board, described the transition process as “an exciting period of continued growth, which confirmed the board’s enthusiasm about Julia becoming HHLT’s next executive director.” She added: “Reed Coles has passed the torch to the next generation of leadership, and the board looks forward to years of productive work with Julia and the staff.”
McLeod said she is excited about her new role and the future of HHLT. “Protecting Maine’s incredible natural beauty and providing access to the outdoors is, and always has been, near and dear to my heart,” she said. “I’m eager to see what HHLT and our partners, volunteers, donors and trustees can continue to achieve together.”
The last 24 months have been particularly busy for HHLT. It acquired an iconic property at Strawberry Creek, across from the Harpswell Town Office. More recently, a generous arrangement with the Tondreau family, along with private donations and a significant grant from Land for Maine’s Future, has resulted in the pending purchase and preservation of 57 acres on Quahog Bay.
For more information, visit hhltmaine.org.