Aging in Montclair Presents ‘Protecting Open Space In The Garden State’

AIM’s Saturday Social on September 24 at 4:00 will present Breanna Durkin and Amber Ray from the Land Conservancy of New Jersey. Since its inception in 1981, the Land Conservancy, a member-supported non-profit land trust, has been dedicated to permanently protecting open space in the Garden State. The Conservancy has worked to preserve land and water resources, conserve open space, and inspire and empower individuals and communities to protect land and the environment.

Ms. Durkin and Ms. Ray will share stories about the Land Conservancy’s work throughout the state. A project which bears directly on Montclair is the 2017 purchase of a parcel of land in West Milford which became the Nancy Conger West Brook Preserve. This purchase protects the headwaters of a tiny stream that is a primary source for the Wanaque Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to Montclair residents and more than two million other people in New Jersey. They will also discuss the sacred parcel of land in Bergen County that the Conservancy is purchasing to transfer back to its original indigenous owners, as well as the organizations efforts to empower urban children to learn about and care for nature in their communities.

Breanna Durkin grew up on a family farm in Warren County and has felt a responsibility to protect the land since she was young. She has a BA in Communications and worked throughout college for a public library, where she was able to participate in environmental programming such as Science Action Clubs and a kids podcast about local animal. She enjoys volunteering for her township’ environmental commission and any community-sponsored environmental initiatives. Breanna joined the Land Conservancy of New Jersey in 2021. As the Membership and Outreach Manager, she is responsible for all aspects of the Conservancy’s ever-growing membership program.

Amber Ray, Director of Development and Communications for the Land Conservancy, grew up exploring the wilds of Pennsylvania before heading to Temple University for big city adventures. With a BA in Journalism, she honed her writing, editing and leadership skills at a daily newspaper, guiding newsrooms in NYC, Philadelphia, and Boston. She then served as an editor at iVillage (NBCUniversal) and Entertainment Weekly before beginning her nonprofit career at the NY-NJ Trail Conference. For 7 years she set and guided the strategy for all messaging to consistently articulate the Trail Conference’s mission and strengthen its fundraising. Amber lives in Warwick, NY with her husband, daughter and many pets.

Contact for zoom link or call 973-707-5088 for more information.

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