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A Woodlots Welcome to Monica Przyperhart

Posted Monday, November 16, 2020
— Connections CHC Staff 2020 Fall

When I saw CHC was in search of a new Woodlots Program leader, I couldn’t look away.  Nothing makes me happier than exploring special places with others who love forests and wildlife.  I myself am a naturalist and biologist—a graduate of UVM’s Field Naturalist Master’s Program, a former national park ranger, and a life-long wildflower enthusiast—but what I really love is to hear the stories about what endears a place to a person.  There’s something magical about visiting an ordinary patch of forest, a wetland, or a rocky ridgeline with someone who loves it.  Also, I hear the Woodlots groups have fantastic potlucks.  How could I not apply?

While originally from the Sierra Nevadas of California, I recently reached a milestone: I’ve now lived in Vermont longer than I’ve ever lived in another place. Some of this time was spent as the Stewardship Coordinator for the Upper Valley Land Trust, working alongside owners of conserved land.  I then transitioned to the Staying Connected Initiative, coordinating community-based activities in a wildlife corridor between the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks.  It was during this time that I was first introduced to CHC, as I was aspiring to similar goals and activities, just in a different part of the state. I even facilitated a group of landowners through a project resembling CHC’s Woodlots Program—a definite highlight.  More recently, I worked with Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department in a role that sent me around the state, providing assistance to community groups who wished to move forward conservation goals. These roles have all given me a deep love for Vermont:  its land, its communities, and its wonderful character. This is home.

I now spend a lot of my time with my husband and two daughters—ages 5 and 7—as we hike to swimming holes and look for the perfect climbing tree. We garden, camp and paddle a lot, too, and we’re on a never-ending quest to see moose. 

I look forward to getting to know the CHC community, hearing your stories, and working alongside you to learn about and find ways to safeguard the places that make this region so special!