“You can’t stop saving Coyote Valley!” was my youngest daughter’s response when they heard about my decision to step down as Executive Director of Green Foothills. These words embody the spirit that has driven me throughout my tenure and highlight how much Green Foothills means to me and my family.Looking BackI want to express heartfelt gratitude to our incredible staff, dedicated volunteers, generous donors, and invaluable partners. Together we have achieved significant victories for biodiversity, climate resilience, and equity. Having been part of the historic decisions and acquisitions casting protections across the 7,400-acre Coyote Valley in south San Jose will always be a great source of pride. Not to mention the countless other land use victories we’ve celebrated across the region supporting the vision of thriving wildlife, climate resilience, and communities living in balance with nature.Another treasured accomplishment for me was the opportunity to recognize—in partnership with many others—Lennie Roberts’ advocacy impact, with an interpretive panel at Devil’s Slide in Half Moon Bay and by establishing the Lennie Roberts Advocacy Fund. Always humble, Lennie has dedicated her life to protecting thousands of acres of habitat in the Santa Cruz Mountains as a Green Foothills advocate, and she deserves all this and more.I’m proud of the work we have done to grow a more diverse and inclusive conservation movement. Fueling this is our Leadership Program, now offering Spanish interpretation, which has provided environmental justice advocacy training to 260 changemakers since 2013. Our new Healing in Nature program, the community advisory board, and our indigenous partnership work have also helped better root Green Foothills’ work in the needs of our community.Looking ForwardWe just kicked off a new Community Building fundraising initiative to further this important work which is so dear to my heart. It would mean so much to me if you would make a donation of $50, $100, $500 or more to help grow a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization and conservation movement. Our goal is to ensure that everyone has equal access to and benefits from the natural environment.
During my tenure, Green Foothills deepened and expanded its impact and stability, growing its donor community to 1,100 and its budget to $1.4 million with an emphasis on grants. These achievements position this organization for an extraordinary future, as does our new incoming leadership. Green Foothills is fortunate and I am grateful that Julie Hutcheson has accepted the board’s offer to become Executive Director. I’ve worked alongside her from my first day and she brings talent, continuity, passion for the mission, and a commitment to equity.
Please join me at our Nature’s Inspiration celebration on September 24 to usher in a new chapter at Green Foothills.
Thank you for allowing me to be part of Green Foothills’ remarkable story. I will miss the day-to-day work and am thankful to stay connected with this wonderful community as an active donor and supporter!