State directors
Kelly Boling
Massachusetts and Rhode Island state director

Kelly heads The Trust for Public Land’s Massachusetts and Rhode Island programs, and he’s put historically underserved urban communities at the center of locally advancing the equity, health, and climate commitments of our national strategic plan. Under Kelly’s leadership, The Trust for Public Land has created and enhanced green spaces in Boston’s Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan neighborhoods; converted a blighted mill and garbage dump in Providence into a park; and helped communities make targeted climate resilience investments through our Climate-Smart Cities™ decision support tools for Boston and Providence. When Kelly joined The Trust for Public Land as a project manager in 2015, he expanded the Appalachian National Scenic Trail corridor...

Kelly heads The Trust for Public Land’s Massachusetts and Rhode Island programs, and he’s put historically underserved urban communities at the center of locally advancing the equity, health, and climate commitments of our national strategic plan. Under Kelly’s leadership, The Trust for Public Land has created and enhanced green spaces in Boston’s Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan neighborhoods; converted a blighted mill and garbage dump in Providence into a park; and helped communities make targeted climate resilience investments through our Climate-Smart Cities™ decision support tools for Boston and Providence. When Kelly joined The Trust for Public Land as a project manager in 2015, he expanded the Appalachian National Scenic Trail corridor in the Berkshires and secured land for new parks in Connecticut. Previously, he worked at Scenic Hudson, where he protected land, created parks, and planned trails along New York’s Hudson River. Before that, he was a conservation and sustainable development consultant in Connecticut and a space planner for HOK in Manhattan, with intervening stints at Burson Cohn & Wolf, the Association of National Advertisers, and a boutique interactive agency. Kelly is passionate about Land for People, architecture, art, music, and food. 

Betsy Cook
Maine state director

As the Maine state program director for The Trust for Public Land, Betsy is committed to ensuring all Mainers have equitable access to the outdoors. Betsy joined The Trust for Public Land in 2017 and during her time has worked with communities across the state to create over 25,000 acres of new public lands, parks, and community forests. Previously, Betsy worked with the New England Forestry Foundation, and Triangle Land Conservancy and Duke Forest, both in Durham, North Carolina. Betsy discovered the power of public lands during her summers working in the White Mountain National Forest’s backcountry hut system. Betsy holds a BA from Cornell University and Master of Environmental...

As the Maine state program director for The Trust for Public Land, Betsy is committed to ensuring all Mainers have equitable access to the outdoors. Betsy joined The Trust for Public Land in 2017 and during her time has worked with communities across the state to create over 25,000 acres of new public lands, parks, and community forests. Previously, Betsy worked with the New England Forestry Foundation, and Triangle Land Conservancy and Duke Forest, both in Durham, North Carolina. Betsy discovered the power of public lands during her summers working in the White Mountain National Forest’s backcountry hut system. Betsy holds a BA from Cornell University and Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry from Duke University, where she completed her thesis on community forests. Betsy lives in Portland and enjoys exploring all corners of Maine by cross-country, hiking, and paddling with her spouse, Jesse, and energetic dog, Banjo. 

Dick Dolan
Northern Rockies director

Dick joined The Trust for Public Land in January 2015 and leads the talented Northern Rockies team in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.  Born and raised in Billings, Montana, Dick has lived in Bozeman since 1976 and been involved in the conservation of the vast and majestic landscapes of the Northern Rockies and plains throughout his career.  After practicing law in Bozeman for many years, Dick made the switch to the nonprofit world by serving as program director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and then as a managing director for the American Prairie Reserve, where he was a major gifts officer and leader of the land acquisition and finance teams.  Dick...

Dick joined The Trust for Public Land in January 2015 and leads the talented Northern Rockies team in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.  Born and raised in Billings, Montana, Dick has lived in Bozeman since 1976 and been involved in the conservation of the vast and majestic landscapes of the Northern Rockies and plains throughout his career.  After practicing law in Bozeman for many years, Dick made the switch to the nonprofit world by serving as program director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and then as a managing director for the American Prairie Reserve, where he was a major gifts officer and leader of the land acquisition and finance teams.  Dick holds a BS in Finance from the University of Oregon (go Ducks!) and a law degree from the University of Washington.  Dick is an avid angler and also devotes much energy trying to keep up with his family—wife Lori, daughter Kate, and son Alex—in their many outdoor pursuits. 

George Dusenbury
Alabama, Florida, Georgia state director

George Dusenbury serves as the Southern Hub Director for The Trust for Public Land, a national organization dedicated to creating parks and protecting land for people. Dusenbury leads a team of professionals who are working to improve access to the Chattahoochee River, to increase the number of residents who have a park within a 10-minute walk of home and to develop coalitions and partnerships to dramatically change how Georgians interact with the outdoors.

From 2010-14 Dusenbury served as Commissioner of the Atlanta Parks & Recreation Department. During his tenure, he helped expand park acreage in the city while increasing the percentage of local residents living within a half-mile of a...

George Dusenbury serves as the Southern Hub Director for The Trust for Public Land, a national organization dedicated to creating parks and protecting land for people. Dusenbury leads a team of professionals who are working to improve access to the Chattahoochee River, to increase the number of residents who have a park within a 10-minute walk of home and to develop coalitions and partnerships to dramatically change how Georgians interact with the outdoors.

From 2010-14 Dusenbury served as Commissioner of the Atlanta Parks & Recreation Department. During his tenure, he helped expand park acreage in the city while increasing the percentage of local residents living within a half-mile of a park. He also led an effort to reopen 16 closed recreation centers and transform them through high performing youth-development programs.

Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Dusenbury was Executive Director of Park Pride, a nonprofit dedicated to building civic and corporate support for Atlanta’s parks. During his six years at Park Pride, the organization significantly increased its capacity while launching a wide range of programs designed to increase community leadership, bring gardens to underserved neighborhoods, and help residents create and implement community master plans for parks. Also under his leadership, the organization expanded its geographic scope and played a pivotal role in engaging community groups and corporate partners to realize the vision of the Atlanta BeltLine, a transformative urban park and trail system.

Dusenbury first became active in Atlanta’s environmental community while serving as Legislative Director and District Director for Congressman John Lewis. In these roles, he was responsible for the Congressman’s work on transportation, clean air, clean water and smart growth issues, including expanding tax incentives supporting alternative commute options like transit and biking. During these years, Dusenbury developed his understanding of the importance of parks and green spaces in the context of equity, economics and health.

Dusenbury earned a B.S. degree in English from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor degree from Emory University where he served as the president of the Environmental Law Society. He has been a Certified Park and Recreation Professional through the National Recreation and Park Association, is a member of the Historic Oakland board of directors and is a graduate of regional leadership programs.

Scott Dvorak
New Jersey state director

Scott Dvorak, AICP, became the New Jersey state director of The Trust for Public Land in 2020, taking the helm of a 40-year legacy of conserving land, supporting legislation for open space funding, and building parks for people across New Jersey. Prior to Scott’s new role, he oversaw the Parks for People New Jersey program for ten years, overseeing the development of parks and playgrounds in Newark, Passaic, and New Brunswick, as well as supporting ongoing community building around advocacy for parks and open spaces in the state. Scott holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University...

Scott Dvorak, AICP, became the New Jersey state director of The Trust for Public Land in 2020, taking the helm of a 40-year legacy of conserving land, supporting legislation for open space funding, and building parks for people across New Jersey. Prior to Scott’s new role, he oversaw the Parks for People New Jersey program for ten years, overseeing the development of parks and playgrounds in Newark, Passaic, and New Brunswick, as well as supporting ongoing community building around advocacy for parks and open spaces in the state. Scott holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University and has worked as a planner across the country, from Ithaca, New York, to Chicago, Illinois, to Seattle, Washington.

Owen Franklin
Pennsylvania state director

Owen Franklin joined The Trust for Public Land in 2017 to serve as its first Pennsylvania State Director. Owen is the organizational lead for urban park and schoolyard redevelopment in areas including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Camden, New Jersey, and for policy and planning support and land protection work across the state. Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, he led an anti-poverty initiative for the City of Philadelphia, where he led a collective impact effort of public, nonprofit, and civic partners that secured roughly $50 million to address concentrated, generational poverty in West Philadelphia. He believes strongly in the power of parks to accomplish tremendous things, and has particular...

Owen Franklin joined The Trust for Public Land in 2017 to serve as its first Pennsylvania State Director. Owen is the organizational lead for urban park and schoolyard redevelopment in areas including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Camden, New Jersey, and for policy and planning support and land protection work across the state. Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, he led an anti-poverty initiative for the City of Philadelphia, where he led a collective impact effort of public, nonprofit, and civic partners that secured roughly $50 million to address concentrated, generational poverty in West Philadelphia. He believes strongly in the power of parks to accomplish tremendous things, and has particular passion for the community cohesion they support in his chosen home of Philadelphia. 

Walker Holmes
Connecticut state director

Walker Holmes is Connecticut state director for The Trust for Public Land, where she leads park creation and land protection efforts in Connecticut and beyond. Holmes leads a team of conservation and park professionals to ensure that everyone in Connecticut has close-to-home access to a great place to play outdoors. Under her tenure, the Connecticut team has deepened community partnerships and accelerated their work to build parks in high-need communities. She joined The Trust for Public Land in 2010. Prior, she spent 12 years with the environmental consulting firm Skeo, focused on community revitalization and contaminated property. She is an experienced outdoor and environmental educator and a former faculty member...

Walker Holmes is Connecticut state director for The Trust for Public Land, where she leads park creation and land protection efforts in Connecticut and beyond. Holmes leads a team of conservation and park professionals to ensure that everyone in Connecticut has close-to-home access to a great place to play outdoors. Under her tenure, the Connecticut team has deepened community partnerships and accelerated their work to build parks in high-need communities. She joined The Trust for Public Land in 2010. Prior, she spent 12 years with the environmental consulting firm Skeo, focused on community revitalization and contaminated property. She is an experienced outdoor and environmental educator and a former faculty member at The Mountain School of Milton Academy. Holmes earned a BA in Classics from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale School of the Environment (then Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies). She serves on the Natural Heritage, Open Space, and Land Acquisition Review Board for the State of Connecticut. She is also a Lecturer at Yale School of the Environment, a past president of New Haven Land Trust, and a current board member of Gather New Haven. Holmes lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her family, her dog, Onion, and six chickens all named Dorothy. 

Lea Hong
Hawaiʻi state director

Lea Hong has been the Hawaiʻi state director of The Trust for Public Land since 2006. During Lea’s time as state director, The Trust for Public Land’s Hawaiʻi office has established an Aloha ʻĀina program which protects land that reconnects Native Hawaiians and others to Hawaiian culture; a Sustainable Hawaiʻi program which protects food, forests, and sources of drinking water; and most recently, a Parks for People Program with a pilot project at ʻAʻala Park. Notable land protection projects completed during Lea’s tenure include the Ka ʻIwi Coast Mauka Lands, Kahuku Kawela Forever (Turtle Bay Makai), and Lands of Līhuʻe (Galbraith Estate)....

Lea Hong has been the Hawaiʻi state director of The Trust for Public Land since 2006. During Lea’s time as state director, The Trust for Public Land’s Hawaiʻi office has established an Aloha ʻĀina program which protects land that reconnects Native Hawaiians and others to Hawaiian culture; a Sustainable Hawaiʻi program which protects food, forests, and sources of drinking water; and most recently, a Parks for People Program with a pilot project at ʻAʻala Park. Notable land protection projects completed during Lea’s tenure include the Ka ʻIwi Coast Mauka Lands, Kahuku Kawela Forever (Turtle Bay Makai), and Lands of Līhuʻe (Galbraith Estate).

Before joining The Trust for Public Land, Lea chaired the environmental and cultural resource law practice group at the Honolulu law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing (now Dentons), and worked for the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund. Lea is a graduate of Leilehua High School, Rice University, and the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i, where she serves on the Friends of the Law School Board and has taught classes on environmental litigation, environmental regulatory compliance, and conservation transactions. She has received a number of recognitions which she credits to the communities with whom she works, including Honolulu Magazine’s Islander of the Year (Environment), the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance Outstanding Leadership Award, and the Hawai‘i Women Lawyers Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year. She is from Wahiawā on the island of Oʻahu. In her spare time, Lea enjoys surfing, hiking, and dog agility with her two mini-labradoodles, Milo and Ogo.

Robert Kent
Texas state director

Robert Kent is the Texas state director for The Trust for Public Land, where he works to ensure every Texan is able to experience the health, climate, equity, and community benefits of close-to-home access to parks and nature. Since joining the organization in 2014, Robert and his colleagues in Texas have developed city- and regional-scale conservation plans, acquired hundreds of acres of land for new parks and nature preserves, developed numerous community-driven park master plans, advocated for hundreds of millions of dollars in new public funding for parks and conservation, and expanded park access to hundreds of thousands of Texans. Prior to working for The Trust for Public Land, Robert...

Robert Kent is the Texas state director for The Trust for Public Land, where he works to ensure every Texan is able to experience the health, climate, equity, and community benefits of close-to-home access to parks and nature. Since joining the organization in 2014, Robert and his colleagues in Texas have developed city- and regional-scale conservation plans, acquired hundreds of acres of land for new parks and nature preserves, developed numerous community-driven park master plans, advocated for hundreds of millions of dollars in new public funding for parks and conservation, and expanded park access to hundreds of thousands of Texans. Prior to working for The Trust for Public Land, Robert served as the policy director for the North Texas Commission. Robert received his BA from Baylor University, where he studied economics and environmental science, and his MSc from the University of Glasgow, where he studied international economic development.

Jenny Park
Tennessee state director

Jenny Park has served as Tennessee state director of The Trust for Public Land since 2017, promoting outdoor access through investments in parks and greenways in Chattanooga and beyond. Under her leadership, the Tennessee program has partnered with community leaders to develop purposeful public spaces for generations to come. Before joining The Trust for Public Land, Jenny served as strategic capital planning manager in the administration of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. In this role, she advised on capital budget priorities and reformed the City’s capital budgeting process, working across departments to create a fiscally-constrained capital budget and five-year capital improvement program. Her earlier experience is in regional transportation planning with...

Jenny Park has served as Tennessee state director of The Trust for Public Land since 2017, promoting outdoor access through investments in parks and greenways in Chattanooga and beyond. Under her leadership, the Tennessee program has partnered with community leaders to develop purposeful public spaces for generations to come. Before joining The Trust for Public Land, Jenny served as strategic capital planning manager in the administration of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. In this role, she advised on capital budget priorities and reformed the City’s capital budgeting process, working across departments to create a fiscally-constrained capital budget and five-year capital improvement program. Her earlier experience is in regional transportation planning with a focus on bicycle, pedestrian, and transit funding programs. Jenny holds a B.A. in Anthropology and a Master of Public Administration. Jenny serves on the boards of Adventure Cycling Association and the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA).

David Patton
Washington and Oregon state director
Jim Petterson
Colorado and Southwest region director

Jim is the Colorado and Southwest region director for The Trust for Public Land, where he works to create parks and protect land for people across Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. He joined the organization in 2015. 

Prior to The Trust for Public Land, Jim spent 17 years at The Nature Conservancy, including 12 years in a variety of senior marketing leadership roles, such as chief communications officer and communications director; and five years as senior advisor to the CEO. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Jim spent 10 years working in Washington, DC, as a communications director and legislative assistant for a senior member of Congress and as...

Jim is the Colorado and Southwest region director for The Trust for Public Land, where he works to create parks and protect land for people across Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. He joined the organization in 2015. 

Prior to The Trust for Public Land, Jim spent 17 years at The Nature Conservancy, including 12 years in a variety of senior marketing leadership roles, such as chief communications officer and communications director; and five years as senior advisor to the CEO. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Jim spent 10 years working in Washington, DC, as a communications director and legislative assistant for a senior member of Congress and as a press secretary for the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. 

Jim lives in Denver, Colorado, and is an avid trail runner, peak bagger, and unabashed high-country bushwhacker.

Guillermo Rodriguez
California state director

Guillermo Rodriguez was appointed California state director for The Trust for Public Land in 2017.  He brings over 20 years of successful nonprofit, private sector, and local government experience to the organization. He is responsible for developing, managing, and leading The Trust for Public Land’s land acquisition, park development, and policy activities throughout the state.

Before joining The Trust for Public Land, Guillermo worked for the City and County of San Francisco, starting his public service career in the administration of Mayor Gavin Newsom, where he was responsible for local hiring programs, workforce development, and the CityBuild program. Guillermo continued with Mayor Ed Lee as the policy and communications director...

Guillermo Rodriguez was appointed California state director for The Trust for Public Land in 2017.  He brings over 20 years of successful nonprofit, private sector, and local government experience to the organization. He is responsible for developing, managing, and leading The Trust for Public Land’s land acquisition, park development, and policy activities throughout the state.

Before joining The Trust for Public Land, Guillermo worked for the City and County of San Francisco, starting his public service career in the administration of Mayor Gavin Newsom, where he was responsible for local hiring programs, workforce development, and the CityBuild program. Guillermo continued with Mayor Ed Lee as the policy and communications director for the San Francisco Department of the Environment, where he was responsible for managing local, state, and federal climate and environmental policy.

Guillermo is an avid urban hiker and serves on the board of several nonprofits including Youth Outside, Brightline Defense Project, Meals on Wheels of San Francisco, and the University of California Natural Reserve System Board of Councilors. 

Susan Schmidt
Minnesota state director

Susan has been leading, managing and supporting The Trust for Public Land’s mission delivery in Minnesota and the upper Midwest since 2000. Her career path over the years has focused on natural resources, outdoor recreation, and community development, with particular emphasis on community engagement and shaping public policy.

Susan enjoys introducing partners to places The Trust for Public Land has helped to protect and  create—from Frogtown Park and Farm in the heart of St. Paul to the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to historic Forest Lodge on Lake Namekagon near Cable, Wisconsin. Susan is particularly proud of The Trust for Public Land’s role in the...

Susan has been leading, managing and supporting The Trust for Public Land’s mission delivery in Minnesota and the upper Midwest since 2000. Her career path over the years has focused on natural resources, outdoor recreation, and community development, with particular emphasis on community engagement and shaping public policy.

Susan enjoys introducing partners to places The Trust for Public Land has helped to protect and  create—from Frogtown Park and Farm in the heart of St. Paul to the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to historic Forest Lodge on Lake Namekagon near Cable, Wisconsin. Susan is particularly proud of The Trust for Public Land’s role in the design and passage of the Minnesota’s Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008, a truly monumental accomplishment for parks, public lands, water, and cultural heritage.

Susan has an MA in Public Policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. She lives in St. Paul with her husband, Dan, and enjoys getting out to explore the region’s parks, trails, and waterways during any and every season.

Shelby Semmes
Northern New England area director

Shelby Semmes serves as the Northern New England area director for The Trust for Public Land, leading the teams and mission delivery across Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. She previously served as the Vermont/New Hampshire state director, as project manager in the California office of The Trust for Public Land, and as an independent consultant focused on the conservation sector’s alignment with impact investment. Semmes holds a BA from Barnard College and a Master of Forestry degree from the Yale School of Environment where she was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow. She lives in Warren Village, Vermont, with her husband Grady, son Sylvan, and dog, Obi Wan. ...

Shelby Semmes serves as the Northern New England area director for The Trust for Public Land, leading the teams and mission delivery across Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. She previously served as the Vermont/New Hampshire state director, as project manager in the California office of The Trust for Public Land, and as an independent consultant focused on the conservation sector’s alignment with impact investment. Semmes holds a BA from Barnard College and a Master of Forestry degree from the Yale School of Environment where she was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow. She lives in Warren Village, Vermont, with her husband Grady, son Sylvan, and dog, Obi Wan. 

Carter Strickland
New York state director

Carter Strickland has served as the New York state director for The Trust for Public Land since 2017. He leads a team that protects open space and builds parks and playgrounds around New York. Under his leadership, The Trust for Public Land has built over 30 parks in New York City and State; passed conservation funding measures at the local and state level; launched the 175-mile trail Long Island Greenway and other greenways; and protected landscapes along the Appalachian Trail, Delaware River, and Hudson Valley. 

Carter has worked on environmental issues in several capacities: as a prosecuting attorney for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, water and air pollution...

Carter Strickland has served as the New York state director for The Trust for Public Land since 2017. He leads a team that protects open space and builds parks and playgrounds around New York. Under his leadership, The Trust for Public Land has built over 30 parks in New York City and State; passed conservation funding measures at the local and state level; launched the 175-mile trail Long Island Greenway and other greenways; and protected landscapes along the Appalachian Trail, Delaware River, and Hudson Valley. 

Carter has worked on environmental issues in several capacities: as a prosecuting attorney for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, water and air pollution expert for New York City’s sustainability plan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and regional and water sustainability lead for the national architecture and environmental engineering firm HDR. In addition to the park and trail creation projects above, Carter’s projects and campaigns have included the $2.4 billion NYC Green Infrastructure program, the NYC Clean Heat initiative, the NYC Wastewater Resiliency Plan, the NYC Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, a resilient energy program in the Hunts Points neighborhood of the Bronx, a study to reduce greenhouse gases from the New York City building sector, and cleaning up toxic pollution of the Hudson River. He teaches graduate courses on sustainability and infrastructure development at Columbia University and NYU. Carter and his family spend as much time as possible in nature, whether at home in Brooklyn, in the Hudson Valley, Adirondacks, or on mountains and rivers throughout the world.