Staff Detail

Catherine Rawson
Executive Director

Catherine Rawson is the executive director of Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy, board member of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, commissioner of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, and a steering committee member for the Working Lands Alliance. A graduate of Bates College and Vermont Law School, where she studied environmental law, Catherine also has a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy, she served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Connecticut. She is also a former member of the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Defense Advisory Council and Housatonic Valley Association Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative Steering Committee.

Under Catherine’s direction since 2011, Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy has achieved significant growth in its regional impact and capacity for long-term, sustainable conservation. Recognized today as a conservation leader in Connecticut and beyond, NCLC was awarded an EPA Environmental Merit Award in 2013 and accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2015. Through Catherine’s leadership NCLC initiated a partnership program, now offering an array of services to land trusts throughout Litchfield and northern Fairfield Counties, while also tripling its staff size and by growing tenfold the reserve financial assets available to support its conservation work to $6.9 million. In 2021, the organization celebrated the protection of its 13,000th acre of land. In 2019 and 2020 respectively, NCLC merged with Brookfield Open Space Legacy and Naromi Land Trust. The latter merger resulted in a renaming of the organization from Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust to NCLC.

Catherine’s professional experience in the environmental field spans more than 20 years and includes serving as a law clerk for the Environment Division of the California Department of Justice and for General Electric’s Corporate Environmental Programs as well as work for three nonprofit organizations in environmental program management and education. Catherine was recognized for academic achievement at the Vermont Law School with American Jurisprudence Awards in Torts and Legal Writing. She also served on the Vermont Law Review and the Journal of National Security Law. In 2017, Catherine was named one of Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40.

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Elizabeth Schrang
Membership Engagement Manager

Elizabeth Schrang is the membership engagement manager at Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Elizabeth has a BS in environmental science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Studying environmental science sparked an interest in the connection between water quality and land use, as well as science writing. After graduating, Elizabeth interned at America Farmland Trust’s Farmland Information Center and then worked as a production editor for Wolters Kluwer Heath, Inc., a publisher of medical journals, in Baltimore, Maryland. Elizabeth has also worked on stream geomorphic surveys in Vermont. Elizabeth returned to school to study the connection between surface water and groundwater and has an MS in hydrogeology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Elizabeth grew up in New Milford, Connecticut, and after studying the maps in the office realized she’d been hiking Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy land the whole time. Elizabeth is excited to join the NCLC team because the most efficient way to protect water resources is to protect land. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys hiking and painting.

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Dawn Burdick

Dawn Burdick is the bookkeeper at Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Dawn brings a depth of bookkeeping experience for a wide spectrum of corporate, individual, small business, and non-profit entities to our financial stewardship. Dawn’s personal connection to land preservation and protection is evidenced in part by her 14 years of service as director-administrator at the Bridgewater Land Trust, where she assisted in fundraising and events. Dawn lives with her family in Bridgewater.

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Amanda Branson
Director of Operations and Finance

Amanda Branson is the director of operations and finance at Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy where she oversees business operations and planning, as well as the partnership program of NCLC.  Amanda was formerly the executive director of Naromi Land Trust in Sherman, CT.  As Naromi’s first executive director, Amanda led the organization through accreditation in 2018 and 2020 merger with Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust. Amanda also led all of Naromi’s numerous stewardship initiatives and all acquisition projects completed between 2016 and 2019.  Amanda is co-chair of Connecticut Land Conservation Council’s Accredited Land Trusts working group and chair of the governance sub-committee; co-chair of SALT (Small Area Land Trusts); and a member of the CLCC Conference planning committee.

Amanda led the CT Records Project, a joint program of CLCC and the Land Trust Alliance to coach small land trusts throughout Connecticut on sound recordkeeping practices and conducting a detailed review of each land trusts land records from 2013 to 2016.  Amanda provided consulting services and coaching to nonprofits on sound record-keeping practices, accreditation preparation support, and building organizational strength.  Previously she was a program associate at Rivers Alliance of Connecticut helping  advocate for Connecticut’s waters and to organize statewide conferences on hydropower and recreational liability.

Amanda lives in Kent with her husband and their three young children.  Amanda has a BFA in Printmaking with a minor in Art History from Maine College of Art. She has exhibited her art in Maine, Connecticut, and New York and maintains a studio practice.

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Heather Perrault
Program Administrator

Heather Perrault is the program administrator at Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Heather has a BS in business and finance from Charter Oak State College and is a CT DEEP certified master wildlife conservationist. She has a passion for nature and has volunteer at White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield for over a decade, including serving on their Education and Activity Committee. Over the years, Heather has also served as a board member and program chairperson with Litchfield Hills Audubon Society and Secretary of the Friends of Sessions Woods Board in Burlington. She is committed to connecting people with nature and protecting our natural environment.

Heather is excited to join NCLC, where her passion for nature and business experience will blend nicely.  Prior to joining Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy, she worked for a local savings bank as a mortgage closing coordinator.  Heather and her husband live in Norfolk and enjoy hiking, kayaking and the Arts.

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Katy Kinsolving
Director of Philanthropy

Katy Kinsolving is director of philanthropy for Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Formerly, she was the capital campaign manager at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. A Vassar College graduate, Katy is a member of the Sharon Energy and Environment Commission and a vice-chair of the Conservation Committee of the Garden Club of America. She has served as a trustee of the Watershed Institute in central New Jersey and has worked for a variety of organizations including the Brooklyn Museum, the Big Apple Circus and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Katy is a co-founder of C-Change Conversations, a non-partisan climate change education organization with national reach.

A blue-ribbon cooking school graduate, Katy has also worked in public relations for the food industry. She lectures on the connections between food systems and climate change and is the co-author of Essential Flavors, a cookbook, published by Viking. Katy has lived all over the world and currently lives in Sharon, CT.  She has raised two sons and loves to travel, write, and cook.

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Zach Adams
Public Lands Manager

Zach is the public lands manager for Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Zach graduated from Juniata College with a BS in environmental science and studied the relationship between birds and invasive berry-producing plants. After Juniata he went on to work for National Audubon Society in Sharon, CT where he was an environmental educator working with live birds and reptiles. Zach most recently worked for Mass Audubon as a teacher naturalist where he brought nature education to the classroom, outdoors, and to thousands of nature students of any age. He also served as president of the Lenox Land Trust, an all-volunteer land trust in Lenox, MA. Zach has spent much of his professional career within the Housatonic River watershed where he is dedicated to connecting people with the rich landscape around them.

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Mary Walsh
Stewardship Specialist

Mary Walsh is the stewardship specialist for the Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Mary is a graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz where she received a BS in geology with a concentration in environmental geoscience. After graduating, Mary worked in science education and enrichment, teaching students throughout Fairfield and New Haven Counties. She then worked as the land steward for Westchester Land Trust. There, she managed a portfolio of over 200 conservation easements and assisted in stewardship efforts on the land trust’s preserves. Mary recently relocated to Connecticut from California, where she spent her time raising her two young children while exploring the natural splendors of the west coast. She is excited to be back in the northeast, protecting the land she holds dear.

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Shelley Rose
Agricultural Program Manager

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