After working with MMRG for over a decade, Education and Outreach Coordinator Kari Lygren will be retiring at the end of this month. Kari coordinates and leads many of our events and engages with MOOSE-ie members and families. She has also served on the Special Events and Education Committees.

Officially joining the staff in 2011, and involved with our work since 2008, Kari has been instrumental in helping community members get outside to explore MMRG properties. She has greatly expanded our reach within the Moose Mountains region. Jill Eldredge, MMRG’s Executive Director, said of Kari’s connection to the community:

“Long before my own employment with MMRG, I knew Kari as an organizational partner and community member. From our first meetings she struck me as the wonderful person we all know her to be and the opportunity to work with her was part of the attraction in coming to MMRG as the Executive Director in 2019. Since being here, I cannot express how many of our members, volunteers, landowners, staff etc. feel deeply connected to Kari and have a great admiration and fondness for her. Her impact on the organization and the people connected to it cannot be understated.”

Ever since she began, Kari has also led the organization in expanding our diverse series of program offerings, all centering around outdoor education and the many benefits of the natural world. The Woods, Water, and Wildlife Festival, that Kari helped to design and implement, has been MMRG’s most popular event for many years. Cynthia Wyatt, the founder of MMRG, said:

“Kari has been an invaluable part of the MMRG team and family for most of its existence, specializing in developing educational outreach programs. The initial programming for our young organization was centered around the Woods Water & Wildlife Festival which hosts several educational and family fun events centered on the Great Outdoors. The Festival also serves as the major fundraiser. With Kari’s assistance and vision, the WWW Festival has become a huge success story, with over 600 annual attendees from our MMRG communities.”

Kari’s favorite parts of working with MMRG have been meeting and talking with fellow conservation enthusiasts and event attendees, and seeing the growth of the organization over the years. 

“We’ve been through so many changes. When we started, we just assisted landowners to put easements onto their properties; to see us move into becoming a holding land trust is exciting! I’ve also enjoyed seeing the WWW Festival grow into a popular event, and holding more events year-round, too,” she said.

Natural conservation has always been extremely important to Kari. A long time Milton resident, she grew up on a large tree farm learning forestry management, cleaned up local ponds, and rode horses on the trails of Branch Hill Farm. She says her main goals are to help others gain a connection to nature, as well as preventing the loss of local rural heritage.

Although she is leaving MMRG, Kari will still be the part-time Education and Outreach Coordinator with Branch Hill Farm. She is excited for fresh new ideas to come from MMRG, and to see the organization continue to grow and become an even stronger force for land conservation. Plus, she said, she will now get the chance to enjoy the events as a participant!!

Cynthia said, “Kari has been the smiling and welcoming face of MMRG for many years and leaves a wonderful and respected legacy of programs for families to continue to enjoy.”

We’ll be sad for this change in the organization, but excited for the new chapter in her life and know that she will continue to be an important MMRG community member and voice for good. We can’t wait to see what’s next. From all of us, enjoy a happy and well-deserved retirement!