Wilton Land Conservation Trust
2021 Interns and Field Ranger
Julia Elmasry — 2021 Spring & Summer Intern
My name is Julia Elmasry, and I am a Junior at Wilton High School. I’ve lived in Wilton all my life, and I want to learn more about our community and the environment. I am a part of the Wilton Varsity Field Hockey team at the high school and the Indoor Track team. Additionally, I am involved in several clubs, including the National Honors Society, the Recycling Club, and the Marine Biology Club. I hope to study Environmental Engineering in college to learn to tackle and solve new ways to help our planet. I am excited to be interning with the Wilton Land Conservation Trust!
Eli Grass — 2021 Field Ranger
& Open Space Steward
My name is Eli Grass, and I am a senior at Wilton High School. Over the years, I have immersed myself in studying our natural world. Whether it's operating and maintaining the Wilton High School greenhouse, caring for the animals of Ambler Farm, or working for the Wilton Land Conservation Trust, I'm dedicated to expanding my knowledge and preserving the environment, both locally and globally. I aspire to build and enhance a community around the environment, and when I am not working to protect the environment, I am photographing it. It's important to collaborate, which leads me to my overall goal in life, to share my work and photos with the public, hoping that it will inspire others to become involved in environmental conservation.
Sara Schneidman — 2021 Summer Intern
My name is Sara Schneidman, and I am a rising sophomore at Hamilton College. I plan to major in biology with a concentration in ecology. I also enjoy studying Japanese, Spanish, history, and classical antiquity.
I served as a WLCT intern during the Spring of 2020. I planted wildflowers native to Ecoregion 59 as part of the Pollinator Pathway, I presented the WHS Organic Garden Club’s involvement in the Ecotype Project at the CT NOFA Conference, and I created a Google Earth tour of WLCT nature preserves in Wilton.
I have a passion for the outdoors, spending much of my free time hiking with my dog, biking, rock climbing, and skiing. I am an Outing Club trip leader at Hamilton College and certified in Wilderness First Aid.
I am excited to rejoin the WLCT to help keep Wilton’s open spaces healthy and to support the land trust's conservation and restoration efforts.
Executive Director: David McCarthy
A native Nutmegger, David brings enthusiasm, energy, experience, and a passion for building community and connecting people with nature. Listening is key," he said. "I'm new to the community, eager to listen to folks, and to get to know Wilton so we can develop the types of educational, recreational, and community enrichment programs that it would like to see more of," he said. "We want to create memorable experiences," he added. Together, we will advance environmental stewardship, expand educational programs, and develop new and exciting initiatives that will enhance the greater Wilton community," he said.
David earned his Master's of Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment. His graduate work concentrated on forestry, natural resource management, climate change adaptation, and policy, as well as the practice of values-based communication and resilience. He sits on the Board of Directors for the South West Regional Conservation District and comes to us from the Town of Branford, CT, where he worked for the Department of Inland Wetlands and Natural Resources. There, he empowered community conservation, protected wetlands through land use regulation, served as the Town's Tree Warden, established the Town's commitment to Endangered Species Day, and advanced the Town's application for the Sustainable CT certificate program.
David brings experience from Yale University's Urban Resources Initiative (a nonprofit that's engaged in environmental education, community forestry, and capacity building). There, he fostered community-based stewardship with diverse neighborhood groups and coached high school interns as part of a street tree planting program that provides kids with marketable job skills and leadership training. As the lead writer and graphic designer for Yale Climate Connections (a multimedia web-based environmental journal and radio show), he defined the organization's brand, tone, and visual identity through the development and management of diverse narratives for social media.
David has written policy for the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Washington, DC, built governmental relations for the Secretariat of the Regional Environmental Program in Apia, Samoa, collaborated on climate change adaptation projects for PCI Media Impact in NYC, NY, supported sustainability initiatives for small island developing states as part of a coastal resilience fellowship with the Global Island Partnership, farmed organic vegetables on once-vacant lots throughout New Haven, CT, to provide food for the city’s most vulnerable families, and taught English in Beijing, China.
He’s brought home best practices in community-based forestry from the Black Forest, where he studied silviculture through an immersion program in partnership with the Technical University of Munich, Germany. He enjoys world travel, astronomy, photography, and spending time outdoors with his wife Kelly, and two-year-old daughter, Clara.
"I have an open-door policy, and I want to hear from you," he said. David is looking forward to creating an even more environmentally conscious Wilton, getting more people excited about nature, and fulfilling WLCT's mission of conserving and protecting land for future generations to enjoy.