As a New Englander joining the Maryland/DC chapter in mid-July, Tim Purinton was aware of having entered a new climate. But the chapter’s new Executive Director says he could not have picked a better time to migrate south.
“It became abundantly apparent, even after a few weeks, that the chapter’s staff are dedicated, knowledgeable leaders in their respective fields. Combined with a recently completed bold strategic plan, conditions are ideal to jump in and make an indelible impact.”
Prior to joining the Conservancy, Tim was based in Boston as the Director of the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, part of the commonwealth’s Department of Fish and Game. It was a division he co-created in 2009 to help the state adapt to climate change, provide clean water, revitalize cities, and protect biodiversity.
In this role, he found that conservation efforts spurred economic growth and improved quality of life. The idea that growth and prosperity is linked to clean water, healthy wetlands, vibrant cities, and intact watersheds is something that Tim feels the Conservancy has demonstrated for years. He says it’s what drew him to Maryland/DC, as these vital links are being made under the chapter’s dual priorities of Climate Resiliency and Clean Water.
Growing up, Tim says he never suffered from what Richard Louv calls “nature-deficit disorder.” He was free to explore nature in his own time and with few boundaries. Salt marshes on the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border were a favorite habitat, though he also cherished ready access to woods, meadows, and a slow winding river. He and his wife Julia have sought to provide their four children with the same opportunities for outdoor exploration.
During more than twenty years working for government and NGOs, Tim has relied on partnerships and alliances to advance conservation work and drive innovation. In his new role as Executive Director he looks forward to engaging new and diverse stakeholders in the chapter’s work. “Connecting people to nature is great, but connecting them to the conservation efforts that improve nature is even better.”