The Bainbridge Island Land Trust has announced the selection of a veteran Florida land conservation leader to replace Asha Rehnberg, who has elected to end her tenure as executive director after nearly five years of service. Hallie Stevens has held several senior positions with The Nature Conservancy of Florida, a preeminent international land conservation organization. In her most recent position, Stevens directed the Conservancy’s Northeast Florida Region focusing on land, marine and freshwater systems protection. She designed and executed the St. Marys River Watershed Program that protected over 80,000 acres of critical lands. For their efforts, she and her colleagues were presented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Conservation Excellence Award.
“We are pleased to secure a new director with the conservation expertise to guide our intensive efforts on the Island,” said incoming Bainbridge Island Trust President Tom Goodlin. “Hallie Stevens has the skills and the commitment essential to continuing the huge progress in land acquisition and stewardship that we have achieved under Asha Rehnberg’s leadership.”
During Rehnberg’s service as executive director, the Land Trust completed the Heart of the Forest acquisition; stewarded conservation easements and owned preserves on more than fifty Island properties; and spearheaded the unique public-private shoreline restoration project on the Powel easement on Port Madison Bay. Rehnberg has been the architect of the nearly completed Land Trust campaign to purchase the 36-acre Hilltop property in the center of the Island, which has connected the East and West portions of the Grand Forest. Under her leadership, the Land Trust also partnered with local citizens and the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District in the purchase of the 30-acre “Keep Gazzam Wild” addition to the Gazzam Lake Preserve.
Rehnberg said, “It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to lead this amazing community institution. Due to the passion, commitment and hard work of its many volunteers, supporters and staff over the last 23 years, the Land Trust has enhanced the quality of life on Bainbridge Island forever. It has helped to permanently protect more than 1,200 acres of our Island’s natural landscapes for the benefit of people, wildlife and water resources. And more than 950 of those scenic acres are open to the public,crisscrossed with public trails through tranquil surroundings. On this little island so close to Seattle, that is extraordinary. Bainbridge residents will be grateful for what we’ve accomplished together for many generations to come.”