Pia Ruisi-Besares

Plant lover Pia researches how to make ecosystems healthier. She uses her knowledge, gained via study and work spanning the country — from Vermont to California, Alaska, and Hawaii — to optimize ways the Hudson Valley’s woods, wetlands, meadows, and waterways support people and wildlife. Pia also is committed to ensuring everyone benefits from nature. As an Americorps member with The Watershed Project, she helped create urban forests in neighborhoods of Richmond, one of the San Francisco Bay area’s most disadvantaged cities, that had been virtually depleted of trees. Contact: pruisibesares@scenichudson.org

Cari Watkins-Bates

Cari grew up working on a dairy farm, so she knows firsthand the trials farmers face year in and year out. At Scenic Hudson, she has helped alleviate some of these trials by partnering with farm families to assure their land will always be available for agriculture and, in turn, providing them with funds to meet unexpected needs and grow their operations. Overall, Cari has partnered with landowners and fellow land trusts to oversee the protection of more than 16,000 acres across the Hudson Valley — food-producing fields and orchards, iconic vistas, and irreplaceable wildlife habitats. Contact: cwatkins@scenichudson.org

Jeffrey Anzevino

Jeff is Scenic Hudson’s go-to resource for people concerned about a project’s threats to their community’s natural, cultural, or scenic assets. His skill in assessing harmful environmental and visual impacts and ability to mobilize and lead grassroots action have been key to halting or scaling back many poorly planned residential and industrial developments. Currently, Jeff is working with communities along the Hudson on a safe solution for crossing the railroad tracks in lieu of locked gates and fences Amtrak has proposed erecting at long-cherished riverfront destinations along its Empire Line. Contact: janzevino@scenichudson.org

Seth McKee

Service as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Marshall Islands imbued Seth McKee with a passion for working with people to strengthen their connections to and benefits from the land. As executive director of Scenic Hudson’s Land Trust, he sustains that passion by leading our efforts to conserve land, create new parks, and transform industrial urban waterfronts into places for all to explore nature and enjoy recreation. As former co-chair of his town’s Open Space Commission, Seth recognizes the critical role public input plays in preserving a community’s natural assets. Contact: smckee@scenichudson.org

Ned Sullivan

Throughout his career, Ned has used his expertise in forging partnerships to achieve great victories. As Maine’s Environmental Commissioner, he united a bipartisan group of business and environmental leaders to draft landmark legislation ending the discharge of deadly dioxins from pulp and paper companies. At Scenic Hudson, he actively guides our collaborative approach that has led to success in milestone projects such as daylighting (uncovering) the Saw Mill River in downtown Yonkers and transforming a portion of Beacon’s former industrial waterfront into magnificent Long Dock Park. Contact: nsullivan@scenichudson.org