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Transitions and Gratitude: A Message Regarding Our Executive Director

Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2023
A photo of Amy Stewart, Board Chair.

Amy Stewart, Board Chair

A photo of Kristen Sharpless, Executive Director

Kristen Sharpless, Executive Director

From Amy Stewart, Board Chair, Stowe Land Trust

Dear Stowe Land Trust, Friends, Members, and Partners:

It gives me both pause and pride to announce that after 10 years of leadership at Stowe Land Trust, Kristen Sharpless has decided to step down from her role as executive director on January 31, 2024, to pursue a new professional opportunity at the Northern Forest Center.

Kristen’s thoughtful and deliberate approach has propelled Stowe Land Trust into a new era of growth. A list of all her accomplishments would be too long but I’d like to recognize her leadership in collaborating to secure $13 million through strategic partnerships to protect 3,100 acres of farm, forest, and recreation lands; growing our partnerships with local schools and youth groups to connect more kids and families with the outdoors; advocating for innovative collaborations between housing and conservation groups; and laying the groundwork for a bold strategic roadmap for how to continue expanding Stowe Land Trust’s impact and reach.

Under Kristen’s leadership, Stowe Land Trust has steadily moved from a trusted community partner largely focused on Stowe to a recognized regional leader both in Vermont and nationally. She’ll be leaving behind a strong and resilient organization ready to continue delivering on its bold, strategic agenda.

Over the next few weeks, we will be developing a transition plan, including a timeline for conducting a search to find the land trust’s next Executive Director. During this period our priority is to find the best individual to lead our dedicated and growing staff in continuing to expand a vital and community-centered Stowe Land Trust. Thank you, Kristen, for your dedication to this organization and the Stowe area’s communities, both human and natural.

Amy Stewart, Board Chair, Stowe Land Trust


(917) 355-0219

From Kristen Sharpless, Executive Director, Stowe Land Trust

I have recently been reflecting on the transformative potential of unexpected disruptions. Remember the windstorm in 2017 that toppled 55 acres of Cady Hill Forest? It was a big loss but also created unprecedented opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and regeneration. Today, Cady Hill is a thriving, sustainable forest and trail network; “better than ever,” many would say.

With these reflections in mind, I want you to know how grateful I am for all that we have accomplished together and how confident I am that this change in leadership will lead to wonderful opportunities for Stowe Land Trust and the Stowe area community.

Over the last decade of my time working for Stowe Land Trust, our collective efforts have propelled conservation for and with the Stowe area community forward. Together, we've enhanced the lives of all connected to the Stowe region, conserving beloved places like Brownsville Forest, Ricketson Farm and more. The growth of the land trust, our partnerships, engagement with youth and families, and our strategic vision stand as enduring legacies of our shared dedication.

As I transition to a new role at the Northern Forest Center, my dedication to healthy lands and healthy communities in this region remains unwavering. And I firmly believe in Stowe Land Trust’s ability to embrace change and flourish under new leadership. The strength of our board and staff combined with your steadfast support assure me that Stowe Land Trust’s future continues to be bright.

Though my role at the land trust will change, Mike, Bella and I will remain committed donors and volunteers, as well as Stowe community members (we aren’t going anywhere!). I'm grateful for our journey together, and I am excited to continue contributing to our shared mission in a new capacity.

Thank you for being the driving force behind Stowe Land Trust’s success. I have full confidence in the path ahead and the potential within this remarkable organization. With gratitude,

Kristen Sharpless


(802) 253-7221