05/11/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/11/2018 09:58
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 05/11/18
The NJDEP announced the appointment on Friday, May 11. Olivia will start in her new position, overseeing a division of over 400 employees responsible for 450,000 acres of land that includes state parks, forests, historic sites, and natural lands, on May 14.
'We are sad to lose Olivia as a valuable staff member, but we're so proud of her and know she will do a wonderful job for New Jersey,' said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. 'Olivia is a staunch advocate for urban parks and conservation, and in her new position she will have the opportunity to make a positive impact throughout New Jersey.'
A resident of Pennsauken, Olivia has served as New Jersey Conservation's South Jersey metro regional manager since August 2014. In this position, she focused on preserving and restoring Gateway Park along the Cooper River in Camden. The park is scheduled to open later this year, and will be managed by NJ Conservation under an agreement with the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority.
In her role with NJ Conservation, Olivia also worked closely with the William Penn Foundation, overseeing a grant award in support of NJ Conservation's work in Camden: building collaborations, managing conservation transactions, promoting parks and greenways to enhance recreational opportunities for residents, and protecting the area's land, water and natural resources.
'Olivia has played an essential leadership role in advancing two significant regional initiatives the William Penn Foundation is supporting, in which Camden figures prominently: the Circuit Trails Coalition and the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River,' said Andrew Johnson, director of the William Penn Foundation's Watershed Protection Program. 'In both efforts, she effectively engaged the community in Camden and promoted partnerships with other NGOs, reflecting the cooperative leadership that is a hallmark of New Jersey Conservation Foundation.'
Olivia has served as Vice Chair for New Jersey of the Circuit Trails Coalition, which is working to create an over 800-mile network of connected bicycle and pedestrian trails in the greater Philadelphia-Camden area. In November 2015, she received a Sustainability Award from the Camden County Board of Freeholders for her role in making the county a more sustainable place to live.
Olivia holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College and a master's degree in Environmental Management from Yale University. She wrote her master's thesis on park revitalization in Camden.
Prior to joining New Jersey Conservation, she worked as development manager for the D.U.E. Season Charter School in Camden. Earlier, she worked as a special assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Natural Resources in the state Department of Environmental Protection; among her tasks was working on two ballot questions reauthorizing funding for the Garden State Preservation Trust. She also worked on urban initiatives and outreach for the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, New Jersey Conservation has protected over 125,000 acres of open space - from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about programs and preserves, go to www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).