Catherine Rawson is the executive director of Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust, chair of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, commissioner of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, council member of the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Advisory Council, and a Greenprint Steering Committee member. A graduate of Bates College and Vermont Law School, where she studied environmental law, Catherine also has a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining Weantinoge, she served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Connecticut.
Under Catherine’s direction since 2011, Weantinoge has achieved significant growth in its regional impact and capacity for long-term, sustainable conservation. Recognized today as a conservation leader in Connecticut and beyond, Weantinoge was awarded an EPA Environmental Merit Award in 2013 and accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2015. Through Catherine’s leadership Weantinoge initiated a partnership program, now offering an array of services to land trusts throughout Litchfield and northern Fairfield Counties, while also doubling its staff size and more than tripling the reserve financial assets available to support its conservation work to $2.45 million. In 2017, the organization celebrated the protection of its 10,000th acre of land.
Catherine’s professional experience in the environmental field spans more than 15 years and includes serving as a law clerk for the Environment Division of the California Department of Justice and for General Electric’s Corporate Environmental Programs as well as work for three non-profit organizations in environmental program management and education. Catherine was recognized for academic achievement at the Vermont Law School with American Jurisprudence Awards in Torts and Legal Writing. She also served on the Vermont Law Review and the Journal of National Security Law. In 2017, Catherine was named one of Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40.
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Director of Land Conservation
Paul Elconin is the director of land conservation at Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust where he oversees acquisitions and stewardship. Paul has B.S. in environmental biology from Yale University and a M.S. in forest resources management from the State University of New York-College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). While at ESF, Paul researched landowner motivations for granting and satisfaction with their conservation easements, and his findings were published and distributed to land trusts nationwide.
Paul has spent much of his professional career working in land conservation. He was a wildlife ecology field technician on wolf and grizzly bear projects for government agencies and taught environmental education in Minnesota and California, was the stewardship coordinator at the Open Space Institute, the “circuit rider” for the Land Trust Alliance of New York, and a consultant to small land trusts in New York State. Paul currently represents Weantinoge on the Working Lands Alliance Steering Committee and its Farmland Access Working Group.
Paul grew up in New Haven, left Connecticut to explore the country, and is gradually returning to his roots. When not active in land conservation, he is exploring the outdoors and trying to achieve his aspiration to be a hockey player.
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Assistant Director of Land Conservation
Carrie Davis is the assistant director of land conservation at Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust. Carrie graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. Since that time, Carrie has devoted her career to various environmental conservation efforts. Following college, she worked for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Environmental Management Bureau in Albany, New York where she led a water quality monitoring program, sampling and testing lakes and ponds at over 60 state parks. Most recently, at the Watershed Agricultural Council, Carrie managed the Croton Watershed office, where she spent over 12 years working with agricultural landowners on developing and implementing pollution prevention plans for the protection of New York City’s drinking water supply.
Carrie has also served on three not-for-profit boards where she has worked on a variety of projects that support the conservation of working farmland and access to the local food supply and has also implemented wildlife habitat restoration and forest management projects. Carrie grew up in Western New York and now resides in Connecticut. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and exploring the area’s parks and trails.
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Elizabeth Schrang is the program administrator at Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust. Elizabeth has a B.S. in environmental science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Studying environmental science sparked an interest in the connection between water quality and land use, as well as science writing. After graduating, Elizabeth interned at America Farmland Trust’s Farmland Information Center and then worked as a production editor for Wolters Kluwer Heath, Inc., a publisher of medical journals, in Baltimore, Maryland. Elizabeth has also worked on stream geomorphic surveys in Vermont. Elizabeth returned to school to study the connection between surface water and groundwater and has a M.S. in hydrogeology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Elizabeth grew up in New Milford, Connecticut, and after studying the maps in the office realized she’d been hiking Weantinoge land the whole time. Elizabeth is excited to join the Weantinoge team because the most efficient way to protect water resources is to protect land. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys hiking and painting.
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Conservation Easement Manager
Kate has a B.S. in wildlife ecology and French from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a M.S. in conservation and landowner relations from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Over the past nine years she has worked with conservation organizations including the Aldo Leoppold Foundation in Wisconsin, Audubon’s California Starr Ranch, the Little River Wetlands Project in Indiana, and most recently at the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust in Massachusetts. She specializes in invasive species management and finding drill holes. Connecting landowners and the public to methodical and science-based approaches to land management is her passion.
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