Conservancy Legacy

After six years at the helm of The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky, and 22 years with the organization, Terry Cook has accepted a position with the Massachusetts-based Trustees for Reservations, founded in 1891 as the first private non-profit conservation organization of its kind in the country. The move takes place so that Terry and his wife Laura, a former Conservancy employee and Kentucky Chapter Volunteer Coordinator, can raise their children and work in conservation closer to family located in the Northeast.

“Leaving Kentucky is not a decision that came easily . . . it is the only home my children have known and we’ve made great friendships with our Conservancy family here and within our community,” says Cook. 

Terry Cook began his association with The Nature Conservancy in 1986 while conducting graduate research at one of the organization’s most high-profile projects: the Virginia Coast Reserve. After that, Terry held a number of leadership positions within the organization in Texas, Washington State, and in the Eastern Region while assisting in the development of programs and projects in Asia Pacific, Central America and Africa.

Terry began his tenure as the Conservancy’s Kentucky State Director in 2008, during which the Chapter delivered outstanding progress and results including:

  • Completing record breaking land acquisitions on strategic properties like at the Big Rivers Corridor;
  • Leading the passage of H.B. 281 to help Kentucky land trusts pursue more conservation projects in the Commonwealth;
  • Opening the new Dupree Nature Preserve;
  • Reducing the Conservancy’s land debt in Kentucky to pave the way for future projects and partnerships; and,
  • Developing a strong staff, Board of Trustees and corporate partnerships to support the Conservancy’s work in the state.

“Thanks to Terry’s leadership, our chapter is poised for more significant growth and achievement,” says Kris Sirchio, President of the Conservancy’s Kentucky Board of Trustees. “The staff joins me in sharing our appreciation for his outstanding career with The Nature Conservancy – and his many important contributions to conservation in Kentucky. We will sincerely miss him, Laura and their family and wish them a smooth transition to their new home.”

According to Terry Cook, the feeling is mutual. “The Nature Conservancy has long been my professional home. Working in Kentucky, with so many who feel passionately about conservation and the long-term health and stewardship of the state’s lands and waters, has been a highlight of my tenure. It is a wonderful organization and will always have my support.”



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