Opacum Land Trust

Executive Director J. Edward Hood

Opacum Land Trust welcomes its first Executive Director

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Ed Hood is the first paid Executive Director of Opacum Land Trust, starting there in 2014 after 21 years of service at Old Sturbridge Village where he was Vice President. Ed trained as an historical archaeologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he focused on historic land use and landscapes, including a study connecting land use by the English settlers of the Connecticut River Valley to changing land use patterns in England during the 17th Century. He worked for the Green Mountain National Forest documenting historic sites and abandoned farms deep within the regrown forest. At Old Sturbridge Village he researched land use, historical archaeology, architecture, the Sturbridge Graphite Mine, and local Native American life in the 18th and 19th centuries. His work as an archaeologist has provided him with close experience of how human activity has shaped, and continues to shape, the New England landscape. He is a resident of Hardwick, Massachusetts, and has a close familiarity of the history of central Massachusetts and a passion for the character of our region.

2014-2015 Volunteer Board of Directors & Officers

Howie Fife
Holland, MA
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  • Howie is one of the founding Directors of Opacum Land Trust. He is from West Springfield where he spent his childhood enjoying the woods and streams of his neighborhood, state and region. Howie received an Associate’s Degree from Stockbridge School of Agriculture in Arboriculture & Park Management, continuing his education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for his Bachelor’s Degree in Park Administration.
  • He began career in 1971 with the then Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources; now known as Department of Conservation and Recreation, retiring after 32 years with the Department. Twenty-five of which were at Wells State Park in Sturbridge. He has also been very active in local government as a member on several boards and committees in Holland, serving as Selectmen from 1997 to 2000. He is presently serving on the Conservation Commission and as one of the town’s Tantasqua Regional School Committee Representative.
  • Keystone Cooperator

Leslie A. Duthie
Monson, MA
Vice President
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  • Volunteer director, Opacum Land Trust.
  • Staff Horticulturalist at Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary for over 25 years. Duties include propagation of a variety of native plant species, field ID, adult programs and maintenance of habitat gardens.
  • Town of Monson Conservation Commission & Community Preservation Committee.
  • Volunteer for New England Plant Conservation Program.
  • Active in conservation land purchases and promotion of conservation efforts within Monson.
  • Keystone cooperator

Jennnifer V. Morrison
Sturbridge, MA
Treasurer; Chair, Finance Committee
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  • Volunteer Treasurer and Director, Opacum Land Trust
  • President & Director of Operations of Sterling Engineering; responsibilities include finance and accounting, contract negotiation, risk management, client development, personnel, strategic planning and IT
  • B.A. Liberal Arts, Cum Laude; Double Major in Psychology-Based Human Relations and Religious Studies; Connecticut College, New London CT
  • Volunteer Class Agent & Alumni Council, Worcester Academy, Worcester MA

Jennifer M. Ohop
Holland, MA
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  • Jennifer is one of the founding directors of Opacum Land Trust, volunteering as Vice President from 2000-2008 and then as President from 2008-2015.
  • Staff Naturalist, Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, Monson, MA 1998-present. Duties include natural history programs for adults & children; GIS mapping; environmental research, data collection & monitoring.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Biology, summa cum laude Framingham State College, Framingham MA
  • Born and raised in Sturbridge, MA. Volunteer experience includes Moose & Wolves Earthwatch Project, Isle Royale National Park; Yellowstone Wolf Project; Mass Audubon Christmas Bird Count; Keeping Track. Interests include birds, reptiles, amphibians & large predators.

Alan F. Smith
Worcester, MA
Director; Chair, nominating committee

  • Alan is one of the founding directors of Opacum Land Trust (a volunteer).
  • Bachelor's Degree: Geology, Clark University, Worcester, MA
  • Archaeologist, Geologist & Naturalist
  • Has volunteered for environmental causes for over 30 years; on-call with Tri-State Bird in Newark, which rescues and treats birds & other wildlife endangered by oil spills.
  • Chair, Northern Worcester Resource Preservation Society; Trustee of the MA Archaeological Society; has received numerous environmental awards over the years.

Scott Gerrish
Brimfield, MA
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  • Consulting Forester, Gerrish Forestland Management
  • Associates Degree UN
  • Former Director and Vice President, Massachusetts Forest Landowners Association, 10+ year
  • Committee Member, Mass. Tree Farm, 10+ year
  • Member of the Brimfield Trail Committee

Mark Conners
Brimfield, MA
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