Who We Are
We are a collaborative of conservation organizations and a regional water utility (the Portland Water District) combining our resources, expertise, and experience to increase the pace of forest conservation in the Sebago Lake watershed.
Our partnership is fortunate to have the support of forward-thinking businesses who recognize the importance of clean water for their products and their communities. This support takes the form of proceeds from sales of goods, direct donations, and one-time grants. Contact us to discuss creative ways your organization can join us in protecting water quality, wildlife, and the Maine way of life!
Business and Nonprofit Contributors
Karen Young (she/her), Partnership Director
Karen guides the Sebago Clean Waters collaborative in its effort to protect the Sebago Lake watershed through voluntary forestland conservation and other watershed protection measures. Her multi-faceted work includes communications, coordination, fundraising, guiding staff, and fostering business and community partnerships. She previously served as Coordinator of the Mount Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative, another southern Maine conservation partnership, and as Director of the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership. Karen holds a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Karen enjoys adventuring with her two teens and husband, as well as yoga, gardening, and cooking.
Ruthie Clements (she/her), Conservation Coordinator
Ruthie supports Sebago Clean Waters’ partner land trusts in planning and implementing forestland conservation projects within the Sebago Lake watershed. She holds a Master of Science in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the University of Maine at Orono. She previously served as a research technician in the School of Food and Agriculture at UMaine and as a consultant for the Maine Department of Conservation, Agriculture, and Forestry. Ruthie lives in the heart of the Sebago watershed with her husband and loves exploring the woods and waters of Southwestern Maine, as well as traveling, coffee-drinking, and gardening.
Will Elting (he/him), Community Engagement Manager
Will leads implementation of a strategic community engagement plan with a goal of increasing the visibility of SCW and engaging new business and community partners. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Parks, Recreation and Ecotourism from Unity College and certificates in Nonprofit Management and Graphic Design and Digital Imaging. Will previously served as the Event Director for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and as the Operations Manager for SailMaine, in addition to doing freelance graphic and web design work. Will lives in Portland with his wife and two young children, and loves doing anything that gets him outdoors including biking, hiking, camping, and kayaking, as well as traveling and seeing live music as often as he can.
Matt Craig- Habitat Program Manager, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership
Geordie Elkins- Executive Director, Highstead Foundation
Colin Holme- Executive Director, Lakes Environmental Association
Matt Markot- Executive Director, Loon Echo Land Trust
Kirk Siegel- Executive Director, Mahoosuc Land Trust
Joel Houser- Director of Capital Grants, Open Space Institute
Paul Hunt- Environmental Services Manager, Portland Water District
Will Sedlack- Executive Director, Presumpscot Regional Land Trust
Tamara Lee Pinard- Community Program Director, The Nature Conservancy in Maine
Betsy Cook- Maine State Director, Trust For Public Land
Kacy Bailey- Executive Director, Western Foothills Land Trust
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Work
Sebago Clean Waters is actively learning how the conservation movement—including our partnership—has been complicit in perpetuating injustice in our country and in the land and water conservation sector. We are engaged in learning about the history and present-day inequities within conservation organizations. While we have just begun, we are committed to being part of positive and lasting change that will lead to more equitable, just, diverse, and inclusive professional networks and conservation processes and outcomes.
We are also continually evaluating and evolving our internal culture. One step in this process was developing agreements to guide us in how we interact, communicate, and work together. All team members engaged in a months-long process that consisted of background reading, exercises, and discussions that resulted in the five agreements below. We read these aloud at the beginning of each of our Steering Committee meetings and strive to follow them in all of our work. Click on the graphic for a more thorough explanation of each agreement.