Welcome Ryan Elting!
Land Trust’s Incoming Executive Director
The Whidbey Camano Land Trust is pleased to announce that Ryan Elting will become its new executive director in September, succeeding Pat Powell, who has held that position for the past 20 years.
Elting has been the organization’s conservation director for eight years. His passion for the environment developed as he grew up in a Connecticut home surrounded by abundant woods, streams and outdoor beauty. He enrolled in the Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University where he received a master of environmental management degree. Later he became director of the Sandhills Program at the North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, where he spent seven years. During that time he also traveled on a fellowship to Zambia, where he assisted a local conservancy with landscape assessments. He hopes to return with his family someday, reunite with his African friends and go on safari.
Ryan joined the Land Trust in 2014, moving to Whidbey Island with his wife, Marthë, and six-month-old daughter, Alma. They soon bought acreage on South Whidbey, built a home, had their second daughter, Eliza, and developed their family farm.
During his time as conservation director, Ryan took the lead on many of the Land Trust’s most significant land protection projects, including the 315-acre Fakkema Farm conservation easement, 170-acre Barnum Point County Parkand 208-acre Strawberry Point Preserve. He also co-led the Land Trust’s recent acquisition of Keystone Farm and Forest Preserve, a 236-acre waterfront gem located north of Greenbank.
“I’m excited to take on this new role and help shape the next chapter of this incredible organization,” Ryan said. “It never ceases to amaze me what we can accomplish as a Land Trust community when we put our minds to it. I’m eager to take on future challenges and opportunities and keep these islands beautiful, healthy, and resilient.”
Over the next few months, Ryan will work to wrap up many land protection projects and hire a new conservation director to fill his current position. During that time, Pat Powell will continue to lead the Land Trust while she, Ryan and the rest of the team work together to guarantee a seamless transition.
“After 20 years at the helm, I am overjoyed to be leaving the Land Trust community in Ryan’s capable hands,” Pat said. “I have absolute trust that Ryan will lead our high-caliber and results-oriented team, and the Land Trust’s amazing members, to new conservation heights. Ryan is not only passionate about island conservation but he’s also strategic, fearless and has a deep love for these islands.”
Keep an eye out for upcoming open house opportunities to meet and welcome Ryan as new executive director and say your farewells to Pat, who will continue to enjoy island life.