Meet a Forever-Wild Circle Member

Meet Brett Engstrom, an ecologist, a Wilderness Trust board member, and a new monthly donor as part of the Forever-Wild Circle. Brett first became involved in Northeast Wilderness Trust in the early 2000s, when he was hired to conduct ecological inventories of Champlain Valley properties.

“When I learned more about the Wilderness Trust from other naturalists, I realized they were doing really important work that no one else was doing,” says Brett. “They’re allowing natural processes to play out, which is what really thrills me as a naturalist.”

Forever-Wild Circle members, like Brett, provide Northeast Wilderness Trust with reliable support through monthly donations. These gifts create a steady financial base that allows the Wilderness Trust focus less on fundraising in order to take the long view and focus on protecting wild landscapes for nature and people. Learn more about the Forever-Wild Circle here!

“Forever-Wild is a radical, much-needed way of looking at the landscape,” says Brett. “So I’m a staunch supporter now.”

This year, the Wilderness Trust is thanking new and current Forever-Wild Circle members with custom bandannas. Printed on hemp and organic cotton cloth, they feature the artwork of Vermont painter Patricia Leahey Meriam and are hand-dyed with homegrown Vermont indigo by Honey Hill Studios.

Brett regularly uses his new bandanna while doing ecological field work across the Northeast, or when hiking the town and state forests near his hometown of Marshfield, VT. “The bottom line for me is supporting the organization for the long term in a steady way; it makes all the sense in the world,” says Brett. “And to get a bandanna on top of it is just gravy!”

We invite you to become a monthly donor and join the Forever-Wild Circle. You will receive a custom 2020 bandanna (while supplies last) as our thanks for your generous support of wilderness conservation!


Wapack Hike for the Wild

When four best friends contemplated how to scratch their hiking itch during this era of social-distancing, they decided to through-hike the 21.5-mile Wapack Trail to raise $5,000 for wilderness. Hikers Tom and Suzanne Perry of Londonderry, NH, and Emilie-Noelle Provost and Robert Hamilton of Lowell, MA, had section hiked much of the Wapack in the past, but wanted to do something special this time—something that would make a difference. So the friends decided they would turn their hike into a Hike for the Wild fundraiser to give back to the wild places that give them hope and resilience through these challenging times.

Emilie-Noelle Provost, Robert Hamilton, and Suzanne and Tom Perry on one of their many hikes, snowshoeing in Concord, NH in Feburary, 2020.

“We love the Wapack and appreciate that such a beautiful wild area has been saved from development,” Emilie-Noelle said. “All of us have gotten such joy from being in the wilderness. Spending time in nature is especially important to us now. It helps relieve the stress and anxiety brought on by this uncertain time. We wanted to do our through hike as a fundraiser to help make sure that special places like the Wapack will always be there.”

Support the Wapack Hike for the Wild!

Emilie-Noelle, Robert, Suzanne, and Tom will hike the Wapack on June 6, 2020, with June 7 and 13 held as rain dates. Their goal is to raise $5,000 for Northeast Wilderness Trust’s effort to add 15 acres to Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve, through which the Wapack Trail winds. Their hike will begin at Wapack National Wildlife Refuge in Greenfield, NH, and end at Watatic Mountain State Wildlife Area in Ashburnham, MA.

Northeast Wilderness Trust has protected 1,935 acres surrounding the historic Wapack Trail. Most recently, the 47-acre Sawtelle Addition was protected in Feburary of 2020, completing the permanent protection of the entire shoreline of Binney Pond, and safeguarding a beautiful section of the trail that meanders over boardwalks alongside the pond.

Emilie-Noelle, Robert, Suzanne and Tom met at Framingham State University in Framingham, MA, and have remained steadfast hiking companions for 20 years. After talking about doing a through hike of the trail for several months, the emphasis on hiking locally due to the COVID-19 pandemic helped them decide that there was no time like the present.

The Perrys have hiked the French Alps and have climbed all 48 of the White Mountains’ 4000-footers. They have nearly completed hiking those 4000-footers in winter. Hamilton and Provost have climbed mountains in the Whites and the Berkshires, and in Norway and Quebec.



New Bandannas for Monthly Donors!


The Forever-Wild Circle of sustaining donors provide Northeast Wilderness Trust with reliable support. The steady regularity of monthly gifts creates a base that the Wilderness Trust can count on. Not only does this allow us to focus more on what we do best–protecting wild landscapes for nature and people–it also means that we can take the long view and focus on the future.

This year, we’ve created custom bandannas to thank our sustaining donors. New Forever-Wild Circle members will also receive a 2020 bandanna as a welcome gift. Join the Forever-Wild Circle today and we’ll send you this gift as a token of our gratitude!

Printed on a hemp and organic cotton-blend, they feature the artwork of Vermont artist Patricia Leahey Meriam. Her oil painting “Flight: Blue Heron” was chosen as the winning design in the Northeast Wilderness Trust’s art contest this past fall.

Flight: Blue Heron by Patricia Leahey Meriam

Once printed, local dye farmer Karen Cornish generously volunteered to hand-dye the bandannas with homegrown indigo. Karen grows and processes dye plants and leads dying workshops through her farm and business, Honey Hill Studios. The result is a beautiful display of this wild bird taking off across a landscape of dark and light blues, marked as the Forever-Wild Circle 2020 bandanna.

The Forever-Wild Circle 2020 bandanna is a gift for all members of the Forever-Wild Circle of monthly donors. Become a sustaining donor to receive one!