Opacum Land Trust Board of Directors and Officers
Opacum Land Trust Executive Director J. Edward Hood
Ed Hood is the first paid Executive Director of Opacum Land Trust, beginning in 2014 after 21 years of service at Old Sturbridge Village where he was Vice President.
Ed trained as an historical archaeologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he focused on historic land use and landscapes, including a study connecting land use by the English settlers of the Connecticut River Valley to changing land-use patterns in England during the 17th Century.
He worked for the Green Mountain National Forest documenting historic sites and abandoned farms deep within the regrown forest. At Old Sturbridge Village he researched land use, historical archaeology, architecture, the Sturbridge Graphite Mine, and local Native American life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
His work as an archaeologist has provided him with close experience of how human activity has shaped, and continues to shape, the New England landscape.
He is a resident of Hardwick, Massachusetts, and has a close familiarity of the history of central Massachusetts and a passion for the character of our region.
2019-2020 Volunteer Board of Directors & Officers
Howie Fife, President – Palmer
– A founding Director of Opacum Land Trust
– Associate’s Degree from Stockbridge School of Agriculture in Arboriculture & Park Management
– Bachelor’s Degree in Park Administration, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
– Retired; Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources; (now Dept. of Conservation and Recreation), after 32 years, twenty-five of which were at Wells State Park in Sturbridge
-Active in local government in Holland, serving as Selectmen from 1997 to 2000
Leslie A. Duthie, Director, Vice President – Monson
– Staff Horticulturalist at Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary for over 25 years. Duties include propagation of a variety of native plant species, field ID, adult programs and maintenance of habitat gardens.
– Town of Monson Conservation Commission & Community Preservation Committee
– Volunteer for New England Plant Conservation Program
– Active in conservation land purchases and promotion of conservation efforts within Monson
– Keystone cooperator
Jennifer V. Morrison, Director, Treasurer – Sturbridge
– President & Director of Operations of Sterling Engineering; responsibilities include finance and accounting, contract negotiation, risk management, client development, personnel, strategic planning and IT
– BA. Liberal Arts, Cum Laude; Double Major in Psychology-Based Human Relations and Religious Studies; Connecticut College, New London CT
– Volunteer Class Agent & Alumni Council, Worcester Academy, Worcester MA
Jennifer M. Ohop, Clerk – Holland
– Founding Director of Opacum Land Trust
– Board Vice President from 2000-2008, Board President from 2008-2015
– Staff Naturalist, Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, Monson, MA 1998-present.
– Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, summa cum laude Framingham State College, Framingham MA
– Born and raised in Sturbridge, MA.
– Volunteer experience includes Moose & Wolves Earthwatch Project, Isle Royale National Park; Yellowstone Wolf Project; Mass Audubon Christmas Bird Count; Keeping Track.
– Interests include birds, reptiles, amphibians & large predators.
Alan F. Smith, Director – Worcester
– Founding Director of Opacum Land Trust
– Bachelor’s Degree: Geology, Clark University, Worcester, MA
– Archaeologist, Geologist & Naturalist
– Has volunteered for environmental causes for over 30 years; on-call with Tri-State Bird in Newark, which rescues and treats birds & other wildlife endangered by oil spills.
– Chair, Northern Worcester Resource Preservation Society;
– Trustee, Mass Archaeological Society
Scott Gerrish, Director – Brimfield
– Consulting Forester, Gerrish Forestland Management
– Associates Degree UN
– Former Director and Vice President, Massachusetts Forest Landowners Association, 10+ year
– Committee Member, Massachusetts Tree Farm, 10+ year
– Member, Brimfield Trail Committee
Mark Conners, Director – Brimfield
– Town of Brimfield: Volunteer member: Building Committee, Historical Commission, Finance Committee
– Retired; Senior Vice President, BayBank
– Monarch Capital Corp.
– Board of Trustees, Holyoke Community College
– Board of Directors, Work Opportunity Center, Springfield
– Board of Directors, Massachusetts American Lung Association
Glenn Colburn, Director – Monson
– Retired; Conservation Agent / Town of Sturbridge, 5 years.
– Monson Conservation Commission, 25+ years.
– Extensive experience with habitat, conservation projects and Mass wetland regulations.
– Avid outdoorsman
Marita Tasse, Director – Sturbridge
– Broker/REaltor, RE/MAX Professional Associates
Christopher DeBruin, Esq., Director – Brimfield
– Attorney; extensive experience in risk management, contracts, and insurance, litigation, and land and development issues.
– Currently First Vice President, Director with Alliant Insurance
– Moved to Brimfield In 2016 with his wife and three children
– Are abutters to and hands-on volunteers with the development of the new Clayton and Margaret Thomas Nature Preserve at Dingley Dell