The Glenwood Preserve in Scotts Valley
The Glenwood Preserve in Scotts Valley is one of the Santa Cruz County properties protected by the Land Trust.
(Paul Zaretsky Photography via Land Trust of Santa Cruz County)

Land Trust of Santa Cruz County hires new executive director

With former executive director Stephen Slade retiring, Felton resident Sarah Newkirk will assume the role for the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County has a new executive director.

On Wednesday, the Land Trust announced Sarah Newkirk as its new executive director. The Felton resident will replace Stephen Slade, who announced his retirement in March.

“The Land Trust benefits tremendously from its exceptional staff, generous donors, and strong partnerships throughout our community — these will be key ingredients for success as we grow and evolve as a regional conservation leader,” Newkirk said in a statement.

Sarah Newkirk

Newkirk has been with the Nature Conservancy since 2005, where she helped lead coastal strategies on both the East and West Coasts, including the Hope for the Coast initiative here in California. Prior to her time with the Nature Conservancy, she worked the Ocean Conservancy and served two fellowships — one with the Stanford Fisheries Policy Project at Stanford Law School and as a Schwarz public policy fellow with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“We’re excited about our future with Sarah as Executive Director, as she applies her experience and ideas in ways that build on and complement the phenomenal success the Land Trust has achieved over the past few decades,” Land Trust Board Chair and Santa Cruz Mayor Donna Murphy said in a statement.

The Land Trust was founded in 1979 and since has raised over $100 million in conversation funding and helped preserve over 14,000 acres. The trust is currently working on its Nature Connection Campaign which aims to raise $21 million in donation funding and an additional $20 million in grants for several projects throughout Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties, including building 10 miles of trails through the San Vicente Redwoods.