KEENE, NY — The Adirondack Land Trust at its annual meeting in North Creek recognized two Volunteers of the Year: Jess Grant, of Willsboro, and Jon Kislin, of Wilmington.
Grant, a former land trust Intern for the Future of the Adirondacks, was recognized for the key role she plays in building and co-leading the land trust’s Next Gen Council. The Next Gen Council engages a variety of individuals—primarily in their 20s and 30s—in environmental conservation. With different career fields, backgrounds and identities, Next Gen Council members have in common a deep interest in the health and sustainability of the Adirondack Park and are committed to helping to ensure it is a place for all to enjoy and care for. Grant represented the council this summer during two events on the land trust’s porch in Keene that attracted more than 50 interns and young professionals.
Originally from rural Alaska and Oregon, Grant’s connections to the Adirondacks stem from her experiences as a State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry student. After earning a Bachelor of Science in conservation biology, she now works as a conservation associate with the Adirondack Council. She is motivated to break down barriers to ensure that young people are engaged and involved in shaping the future of the Adirondack Park.
Kislin was recognized for pitching in at events and nature preserves. At the land trust’s Glenview Nature Preserve, in Harrietstown, he rolled up his sleeves to help remove what turned out to be more than 360 pounds of debris. The property is well known for its sweeping views of Whiteface Mountain, the McKenzie Range and High Peaks wilderness. Kislin’s volunteer work and firsthand knowledge as a natural history enthusiast will help to shape the land trust’s stewardship plan for this 238-acre nature preserve.
Hailing from Lynbrook, NY, Kislin was first introduced to the Adirondack Park in 2011 through SUNY Geneseo professor Gary “Griz” Caudle’s summer course on American nature writing. That first experience left an indelible mark that kept drawing him back to visit while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy and then launching his career. He moved here in October 2021 and works as a lead data scientist, crunching tickborne disease surveillance data, for a consulting company with a global presence. He volunteers for the Adirondack Land Trust to help conserve the region he regards as “the pride of his native New York State” and is interested in old growth forest and native wildlife conservation.
“Jess and Jon bring contagious energy and can-do enthusiasm to their volunteer efforts. They inspire our board and staff, and we are grateful for their commitment to Adirondack conservation,” said Mike Carr, executive director.
The mission of the Adirondack Land Trust is to forever conserve the forests, farmlands, waters and wild places that advance the quality of life of our communities and the ecological integrity of the Adirondacks. The land trust has protected 27,149 acres since its founding in 1984. To learn more, visit adirondacklandtrust.org.
Photo at top: Jon Kislin (left) and Jess Grant, Adirondack Land Trust’s volunteers of the year, were recognized at a land trust event in North Creek attended by more than 100 guests. Photograph provided by Adirondack Land Trust.