NEW YORK, NY - August 12, 2011 - The Open Space Institute is pleased to announce that Bill Rawlyk is joining the organization as Middle Atlantic Field Coordinator for the Bayshore-Highlands Fund with responsibility for loans and grants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Prior to joining OSI, Bill worked for twelve years at D&R Greenway Land Trust - a regional nonprofit land conservancy based in Princeton, NJ - as Director of Land Preservation and Naturalist. Bill negotiated and secured funding for over 200 land transactions and helped to preserve over 12,000 acres of land in New Jersey, including property in New Jersey's Delaware Bayshore region. Bill is a founding trustee of the Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance, a land trust in Hunterdon County, NJ and has served on numerous municipal advisory committees including chairing his local Environmental Commission for many years.
Bill's experience in the region has provided him with a solid foundation for evaluating transactions. As a dedicated naturalist with a degree in biology, Bill is experienced in assessing the natural resource values of projects. As a fourth-generation member of a family that has operated the same farm in Hunterdon County, NJ for nearly 90 years, Bill also has considerable experience with agriculture, the economics of farming and with negotiating with farmers as landowners. In 1996, Bill preserved his family farm by selling it to the state of New Jersey's Division of Fish and Wildlife as a Wildlife Management Area. He also obtained state and federal grants to convert crop fields into 50-acres of warm season grassland prairie, (which provides habitat for endangered grassland birds), nature trails and a 3-acre constructed wetland. These resources are now open to the public, and he assists with managing the property for the state.
Bill will be responsible for administering the Bayshore-Highlands Fund and the New Jersey Conservation Loan Fund. For the former fund, he will act as liaison between OSI and the land trusts in the Highlands region of eastern Pennsylvania and the Delaware Bayshore region of southwestern NJ and work closely with the fund’s advisory committee. He will also administer the New Jersey Conservation Loan Fund, a $3.5 million fund created with funding from the William Penn and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundations that provides low-interest loans to land trusts working across the state.
With the addition to the Bayshore-Highlands Fund, we look forward to intensifying our focus on protecting globally important biological resources in both states including forests, rivers and salt marshes that serve as migratory bird habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl, and watersheds and other lands that that provide recreational opportunities, as well as working landscapes that support some of the richest, most diverse and productive agriculture on the East Coast, and watershed lands and forests,” Rawlyk said.
OSI Vice President Peter Howell added, "Bill brings deep experience and broad knowledge about successful conservation. He is ideally equipped to both deepen and broaden our presence in the Middle Atlantic.”
Bill still owns and lives based in Pittstown, Hunterdon County, NJ on part of the historic family farm which he manages with his girlfriend Jeanette and his 80-year old mother, Edith Rawlyk. Bill can be reached at his field office number (908-628-4299) or by cell phone (908-642-4747) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.