The Forever-Wild Circle of monthly donors offers valuable, steady support to Northeast Wilderness Trust so that we can spend more time protecting forests and less time securing our operating costs. (Because, even when you protect trees, they unfortunately still don’t grow money for you.) New monthly donors receive our limited-edition, sustainably made bandannas. This year, our bandannas feature a circle of amphibians illustrated by Vermont artist Rachel Sargent Mirus.
We chatted with one of our valued Forever-Wild Circle members, Cat Kelly–get to know Cat and her love of wild places in the interview below!
NEWT: How did you first connect with Northeast Wilderness Trust, and what has stuck with you since?
Cat: I first connected with Northeast Wilderness Trust through an interview. My school sent an email out to students highlighting a local non-profit that needed some legal help for the summer. I researched NEWT (and all the employees at the time) and felt like it was a great fit. My interview with Jon, Cathleen, and Shelby felt more like going out to eat dinner with friends than an interview. I guess they felt the same way. I spent the summer preparing the Wilderness Trust for their re-accreditation with the Land Trust Alliance.
I currently work for a global environmental nonprofit doing land conservation and preservation. I absolutely love this work and NEWT was my “first job” in this field, so I feel like I carry my NEWT experience with me each day at work.
Cat wearing her 2020 Forever-Wild Circle bandanna, featuring the painting “Flight: Blue Heron” by Vermont artist Patricia Leahy Meriam.
NEWT: What are some ways you love to experience the wild?
Cat: I love to experience the wild by exploring and taking it all in. Whether its backpacking with friends, a day hike with my pup, or fishing solo first thing in the morning, surrounding myself with wild places brings me a lot of happiness and peace.
NEWT: Why did you decide to become a Forever-Wild Circle monthly donor?
Cat: I believe that when you want to see change and care about something, you give to it–whether that be time, money, resources, etc. NEWT’s mission of keeping places wild or giving places the opportunity to rewild is something I believe in and wanted to support once I was able to.
NEWT: What is your favorite NEWT Wilderness Preserve?
Cat: My favorite preserve is the Eagle Mountain Wilderness Preserve. I went there with Shelby and Jon and we rode the ferry across Lake Champlain. The day we visited the Preserve it was misty and very green and lush. And I also remember Jon having such a bad sandal sunburn at the time that he couldn’t wear shoes.