Benjamin Gajewski named Genesee Valley Conservancy Executive Director

Benjamin Gajewski named Genesee Valley Conservancy Executive Director

iJanuary 28, 2013

Genesee Valley Conservancy is pleased to announce Benjamin Gajewski as the organization’s newest Executive Director. Ben began working for GVC as Stewardship Director in 2007 and has assisted in all functions of the organization, including a five month period as Interim Executive Director in 2011.

Ben has an intimate knowledge of the organization, the landscape in which GVC works, and a deep passion for protecting the open spaces of the Genesee Valley. Board President Myrtle A. Merritt explained, “He has served as a major leader in developing and maintaining The Railroad Bed Trail, The John Chanler Island Preserve and, most recently, The Indian Fort Preserve. Through his involvement, Ben has gained extensive knowledge regarding the work of the Conservancy. He will be working with Katy Festa, Development and Communications Coordinator, and Dave Bojanowski, Land Conservationist. I am so proud of this team and know they will continue to enhance the mission of the Conservancy to protect the habitat, open space and farmland of the Genesee Valley region.”

“I am pleased to be stepping into this new role at GVC. Over the past six years, I have seen the deep dedication landowners have for the Genesee Valley and I look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure those unique and special places are protected forever, not only for this generation, but for the generations to come.”

This news follows a significant year for GVC, in which the organization placed easements on two properties, bringing the organization’s total protected acreage to 14,400. Both projects have a larger significance to the organization.

One parcel adjoins two conserved properties in the Nations Road area, connecting to become part of the larger 5,000 acres of conservation GVC has completed in this area. Nations Road has been identified as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. The gullies, streams, forests, and grassland fields create a unique mix of habitat to suit a wide range of Avian and other species.

The other project occurred in two areas within the Honeoye Creek watershed north of Honeoye Lake. This 688 acre project adjoins the conservation work of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Bergen Swamp Society. Between the three organizations, 6.8 miles of the Honeoye Creek are now protected.

On the tails of these conservation successes, Ben notes that the organization is moving full steam ahead. “We are fortunate to have a dedicated and engaged Board of Directors, terrific staff, and a committed membership. We have ambitious plans for 2013 and beyond, but with this group I know we will have much success.”

To learn more about GVC, visit www.geneseevalleyconservancy.org or email info@geneseevalleyconservancy.org. Contact GVC’s new Executive Director at (585) 243-2190 or ben@geneseevalleyconservancy.org.