Annual Meeting reflects on a year of community building and progress

The membership of the Barrington Land Conservation Trust elected four new board members to its Board of Directors at its annual meeting on Wednesday, June 7, at the Barrington Public Library. All are Barrington residents who bring a diversity of qualifications and life experience to these leadership roles.

The Trust also honored three departing board members who have volunteered their skills for many years: Mary Grover, Co-Chair of the Education Committee; Debra Provolo, Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair; and Michael Gorfinkle, Secretary.

Departing Board Members Mary Grover, Michael Gorfinkle and Debra Provolo.

Loren Spears, Executive Director of Tomaquag Museum, and Cindy Elder, Executive Director of the Barrington Land Conservation Trust.

Land Trust President Ian Donahue reflected on a year of progress and community building, including the hiring of the Trust’s first executive director, Barrington resident Cindy Elder.

The Land Trust expanded its communications and outreach activities in 2023, including free monthly guided walks and a public Learning Series featuring speakers on environmental topics. They formed a Student Stewardship Team for high school students and worked with educators at Hampden Meadows School and Barrington Middle School to create environmental education opportunities.

The Land Trust saw a 58% increase in support, from 206 to 326 individual donors, and received grants from the New England Grassroots Fund and the National Resources Conservation Service.

“Barrington prides itself on environmental stewardship, and we are fortunate to have a core group of loyal supporters,” said Elder. “If even half of the 7,100 households in our town supported our work, we’d be able to build an endowment for future preservation efforts while funding ongoing operations.”

Founded in 1979, the Barrington Land Conservation Trust has preserved approximately 300 acres of open space. Its volunteers also assist the Town in the management of town-owned open space, including St. Andrews Farm, Osamequin Nature Preserve and other protected lands. For more information, email, or call 508-733-2443.

New Land Trust Board Members

The following Barrington residents have accepted four-year terms as volunteer Board Members of the Barrington Land Conservation Trust.

Charles F. “Charlie” Brown IV

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown completed a 24-year career with the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife in 2022, where he was the expert on mammals and frequently quoted on issues relating to coyotes, bats, fishers, bears, foxes, bobcats, even pumas. His work included bat research, wildlife rehabilitation, and nuisance wildlife control.

Prior to the DEM, he worked as a forestry technician with the U.S. Forestry Service and a wildlife biologist with the Coastal Resources Management Council. Charlie earned a Bachelor’s degree in natural resources from the University of Rhode Island.

Charlie grew up in Barrington, where he still lives with his wife and former Land Trust President, Virginia “Ginger” Brown. He credits his family and the local environment for instilling his love for the natural world and recalls that every boyhood hour not spent in school or at the dinner table was spent outside—fishing, trapping, and exploring.

Lizeth Garcia Garcia

Lizeth Garcia Garcia

Lizeth Garcia Garcia has served as a community liaison and interpreter for a K-12 charter school, a Spanish tutor, and an international customer service and technical support representative. She is currently working toward certification as a medical interpreter with the National Board of Medical Interpreters.

Lizeth was born and grew up in San José, Costa Rica, where she studied English at La Universdad Interamericana. She is proud of her heritage, which she describes as White (Spain/Italy) and Brown (Native American from Nicaragua). She moved to Barrington in 2012 because she saw the town as a safe place for her children to grow up and attend school. Both of her daughters are now in college.

“I have cared about open spaces since an early age,” said Lizeth, who has also volunteered for the National Park Service. “Our minds are best while we connect to Mother Earth. Preserving open spaces for future generations is primordial. Everything is interconnected. As a Native American once said (attributed to Chief Seattle), When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.”

Sara Sampieri Horvet

Sara Sampieri Horvet

Sara Sampieri Horvet rejoins the Board this year after having served a previous term from 2016-2020. During the last four years, she remained an active volunteer for the Land Trust and served as a liaison for the Terrapin Conservation Project as well as a member of the Communications and Education Committees.

Sara has worked as a Research Associate with the Coastal Systems Program at the UMass Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology for 21 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Providence College and a Master’s degree in Coastal Systems Science from UMass Dartmouth-SMAST. Her primary focus is on water quality and the impact of nutrient enrichment on the habitat health of estuaries and freshwater ponds.

For the past 12 years, Sara has been living in Barrington with her husband and two children. She joined the Land Trust to preserve the town’s natural habitats so that her children and future generations can enjoy the same beautiful places.

Vincent Wicker

Vince joins the Board this year with a long history of community service, including 16 years as Board Chair of the Barrington Public Library Board of Trustees and the Barrington Public Library Corporation. In his professional life, he is Senior Manager of Applied Intelligence for Accenture in Boston. He founded the company, Turnswing, an enterprise supply chain consulting service, and has held senior positions in marketing, research and business development at several high-tech firms.

Vince earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business and a Master’s of Business Administration from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business.

2023-2024 Land Trust Officers

The Barrington Land Conservation Trust’s officers for the 2023-2024 year include: Ian Donahue, President and Communications Chair; Andrew “Drew” Curtis, Vice President, Treasurer/Finance Chair; Steve Boyajian, Secretary and Acquisitions & Planning Chair; Victor Lerish, Stewardship Chair; Richard “Dick” Waterman, Nominations & Governance Chair. Members at Large include: Catherine Boisseau, Charlie Brown, Meghan Frost, Lizeth Garcia Garcia, Sara Sampieri Horvet, William “Bill” Kirkpatrick, Cindy Larson Moura, Charles “Charlie” McCoy, Cindy Pierce and Vince Wicker.