CAPE ELIZABETH — The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust has new staff, including a new executive director.
CELT announced on Dec. 15 that South Portland resident Cindy Krum is the new executive director. She replaces Chris Franklin, who stepped down in November after 12 years with the land trust.
Katye Charette and Linden Rayton have also been hired as the membership and development manager, and education coordinator, respectively.
Prior to joining CELT, Krum worked at the South Portland Land Trust for 1 1/2 years as the part-time program manager, which is the organization’s only paid position. She said she enjoyed the work, but wanted more than a part-time job.
“Starting at the South Portland Land Trust, I learned about land trust work and I grew to love it,” she said. “When I saw this job, and it was more full time, I applied.”
Krum was also the executive director of the Gulf of Maine Association, and still puts in 10 hours a week there. She said she is very passionate about the outdoors and wants to involve as many Cape Elizabeth residents in CELT’s work as she can.
“We definitely want to do everything we can to get the community involved,” she said.
Krum said one question that will be driving much of her work is, “How can the land trust serve the community of Cape Elizabeth?”
She said Rayton’s position will play a big role in the answer, because she will be running programs with elementary school students and educating them about the outdoors and about CELT. Krum said she wants to take part in some programs, too.
“I would like to be out leading some programs,” she said. “I want to be out in the community.”
She said it’s important to work with the community when doing the land trust’s work. CELT, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in August, has preserved 29 Cape Elizabeth properties totaling more than 660 acres – or 7 percent of town land.
“I’m most looking forward to getting to know more people in the Cape Elizabeth community and really assisting this community in preserving open space,” she said.
Krum said she’s still “getting up to speed,” but she knows she wants to continue a lot of the work Franklin was doing. At the same time, though, she said she has some plans of her own.
She said one goal would be to “really think ecologically about the entire town and think about what would be best to preserve.”
Krum said she knows of one obstacle that will have to be avoided.
“I think there are so many possibilities of what we can do, so I think the challenge will be with time and trying to get as much done as possible,” she said.
Volunteers have, and will continue to play a large role in getting things done at the land trust. Krum said she wants to get more residents involved as volunteers and also create a volunteer database. She said it’s also important to appreciate the people who have already been working with CELT.
“Part of it is making sure we’re listening to and meeting the needs of the current volunteers,” Krum said.
Whether residents are volunteers, program participants, or are not involved with CELT, Krum said she wants to make outdoor space available to everyone.
“I just believe so strongly that everyone should have access to outdoor areas,” she said. “I think it’s so critical for people to get outside in beautiful places. That’s what land trusts are all about.”
The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust has hired Cindy Krum, left, as executive director and Katye Charette as membership and development manager.