TPL-Chicago Expands Project Staff (IL)

Chicago, IL – Dec. 16, 2003 — The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a leading national nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people, announces today the addition of three veteran conservation experts to its local staff. Nancy L. Kaszak, Jeffrey D. Greenspan, and Edward K. Uhlir, will join the staff of the organization’s Chicago office on Mon., Dec. 22. This addition to the existing Chicago office will allow TPL to better assist underserved communities throughout the Chicago region and help to implement critical open space protection.

“We are very pleased to make these additions to the Chicago staff,” said Will Rogers, president of TPL who used to live and work in Chicago. “They will bolster our strong commitment to our Chicago program. We know they will play a key role in helping TPL fulfill its mission of improving the quality of life through open space protection.”

Nancy L. Kaszak most recently served as Executive Director of CorLands for four years working with local communities as they addressed their open space needs. She was also the General Counsel for the Chicago Park District, State Representative from Illinois’ 34th District, serving the north side of Chicago, and an attorney. Kaszak will become the Director of Business Development for the Chicago Office.

Jeffrey D. Greenspan, Esq., brings 20 years of legal experience serving suburban local governments. Prior to joining TPL, Greenspan was General Counsel and Director of Land Acquisition at CorLands where he negotiated, oversaw and assisted in Open Space land acquisitions for use by local and state governments, reviewed leases on lands, and provided technical assistance to local government agencies in acquiring open space for active and passive recreation.

Edward Uhlir, F.A.I.A., brings 25 years of planning experience from the Chicago Park District and with the Millennium Park project. Uhlir will continue to serve as the design lead for the Millennium Park Project as a consultant to the City of Chicago & the Millennium Park donors. Uhlir most recently headed the Lake County Pilot Project and was the Director of Land Acquisition Planning for CorLands.

The three will join the team headed by Chris Slattery, Director of Chicago Office. “There is a natural fit between each of their skills and the work TPL conducts throughout the region. We’re looking forward to continued collaboration with other conservation organizations serving the Chicago area including the Openlands Project and CorLands.”

TPL, a national nonprofit organization working to protect lands as parks and open space, opened an office in Chicago in 1999. TPL works with communities to identify and acquire land for public use as parks, greenways, gardens and other natural places. Through its conservation finance services, TPL is able to help communities develop funding strategies to accomplish their open space goals.

“TPL is one of the most well regarded conservation organizations in the country,” says Kaszak. “I am excited to become part of a national organization that is dedicated to Chicago’s open space protection. TPL’s local programs are helping to transform industrial land along the Chicago River into parks and extend Chicago’s renowned park system into underserved neighborhoods and metro region suburbs.”

“With these recent additions, plus the hiring of a local Development Director, we are expecting great things from our Chicago team,” added Will Rogers. Earlier this Fall TPL hired David DeFuniak to lead TPL’s fundraising efforts and was seeking to add staff to focus on suburban conservation.

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law, to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. TPL depends upon the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations. In Chicago, TPL has protected ballparks in the West Lawn neighborhood, expanded Ping Tom Park and recycled a former brownfield as an addition to Senka Park. Nationwide, TPL has helped protect more than 1.6 million acres.