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Peninsula, Ohio - Countryside Conservancy's Founder and Executive Director Darwin Kelsey has announced that he has transitioned his role as Countryside's Executive Director to the role of Director Emeritus. Darwin has served with unwavering dedication as Countryside's Director since its founding in 1999. He is a pioneer in the northeast Ohio food and agriculture community and a mentor to many of our local food leaders today.
The Countryside Board and the Superintendent of our core partner, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, have approved and support a staff restructuring and transition plan for Countryside Conservancy, effective September 14, 2016. Darwin has stepped into a Director Emeritus role to provide leadership and guidance in the search for his successor, and will work with Countryside's Board and staff in an advisory role through the end of 2016. Tracy Emrick, Director of Operations and Partnerships at Countryside will serve as the Interim Director.
Established in 1999, the importance of the Countryside Conservancy mission remains resolute and strong: connecting people, food and land by increasing public awareness of how food and farming impact personal, community and environmental health, and by inspiring personal commitment to building a resilient, sustainable food culture.
Countryside Conservancy envisions Northeast Ohio filled with thriving farming and food entrepreneurs; where farms are viable businesses, farmland is a treasured resource and local food is commonplace. Countryside also envisions Northeast Ohio filled with gardeners and home cooks; where affordable healthy food is an option for all, a do-it-yourself culture is widespread, and acting on a preference for sustainably local food is routine.
On numerous levels, Countryside Conservancy has helped create momentum for community outcomes and achievements supporting and driving that vision in Northeast Ohio. Countryside will continue to help shape that future for residents of Northeast Ohio and beyond, through strategic partnerships and a strengthened, focused organization.