Some exciting changes are afoot here at the TKF Foundation – ones that will see us shifting our focus and digging deeply into the network of Open Spaces we have worked to help cultivate over the past two-plus decades. A central part of these changes is our welcoming of Erin Robertson as our new executive director.
Erin is taking over for Mary Wyatt, who is retiring after more than 20 years; during which time we funded more than 130 greenspaces, and the National Nature Sacred Award Program.
As of January 1, Erin’s tenure as executive director, will officially begin. No stranger to TKF, for the past several years, Erin has served as our director of enrichment grants, working closely with our many firesouls and greenspaces. And this makes her particularly well-suited for her new responsibilities.
Tom Stoner, TKF’s co-founder, is thrilled that Erin is able to take on this role just as we enter a new phase as an organization. “She will be placing a spotlight on the way urban greenspaces – Sacred Places – foster stronger, healthier cities,” he said.
Before joining TKF, Erin served in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s development department; she also previously spent time working with the Maryland State Legislature.
Today, we are in the process of winding down our National Nature Sacred Awards Program, which saw us granting more than $5 million to six research teams throughout the US to study the effects of greenspaces on communities experiencing various kinds of stress and trauma. (We’ve shared a lot about these projects here on the blog.) In 2018, we will be turning our attention to a core network of Sacred Places. Of the 130-plus spaces we have supported since our inception, we plan to support a network 50 of the most thriving in the Baltimore/Washington region. The objective: to increase city cohesion and wellbeing.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with the Sacred Places, supporting the ways they engage their communities, and helping them to learn from one another as they grow,” said Robertson. “These spaces have a vital role to play in their communities – and bonded together, they can have a real impact on a city’s health and prosperity.”
As we welcome Erin, we look forward to what 2018 will bring – both to TKF and to the communities we serve.