The AdkAction Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Sawyer Cresap has been named Executive Director. Ms. Cresap joins AdkAction with significant experience and expertise in local food systems and access in rural communities, environmental justice, community engagement, land conservation, and working with organizations and communities across the Adirondack Park.
“With a clear passion for advocating for communities in the Adirondacks and an extensive and diverse experience working with a variety of nonprofits in, public service, conservation, and community development, Ms. Cresap is the ideal leader to expand AdkAction’s collaborative projects and positive impacts across the park. As a trained conservationist, she brings to AdkAction both her deep commitment of preserving and protecting our ecological resources, as well as her experience in creating innovative ways to bolster the vibrancy of our diverse communities,” stated Steve Maikowski, Board Chair of AdkAction.
“I am thrilled to help support, lead, and represent AdkAction, an extraordinary organization attending to both parts of the Adirondacks’ great conservation experiment: thriving communities and healthy ecosystems,” says Ms. Cresap. “From its creation of the Farmacy model and pandemic-relief food security partnerships, to its efforts on road salt reduction, community-scale composting, and pollinator-friendly species restoration, this is a forward-thinking, agile organization doing distinctly collaborative work. I look forward to joining its dedicated team of staff and board of directors to build upon its continued success.”
Following a stint as an Adirondack wilderness guide, Ms. Cresap served two terms in AmeriCorps across New England, implementing natural resource conservation and community development initiatives, managing statewide service projects, and teaching environmental education. At the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy in Albany, Ms. Cresap served as the Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator, where she managed 18 public nature preserves, led a team of over 100 volunteers, and directed land management and restoration projects. At the Blue Mountain Center, she helped launch and direct the Center’s “Hamilton Helps Initiative–a community resilience-building effort focused on Hamilton County. In collaboration with the Indian Lake Community Development Corporation, she designed a program that offered vouchers to all Hamilton County seniors receiving home-delivered meals and to Hamilton County food pantry clients of all ages. To get more fresh, healthy food into the hands of food insecure residents at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, these vouchers were redeemable at local farmers markets and provided crucial support to communities with few accessible grocery options. She went on to serve as an Executive Committee member for the Indian Lake Community Development Corporation.
Ms. Cresap is an avid outdoors person, having hiked the Appalachian and Northville Placid Trails and to many Adirondack fire towers. She has worked with The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter studying environmental justice in the Adirondacks and equitable frameworks for rural conservation, been an active participant in the Common Ground Alliance conferences and FEED BACK Food Justice summits, and is currently directing a documentary film about the 30th anniversary of a book of portraits featuring Adirondackers from across the region. She writes for the national publications The Conservation Finance Network and SAGE Magazine.
Ms. Cresap is from the Capital Region in New York and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Policy Studies from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University. She is currently finishing her Masters of Environmental Management at Yale University. She will immediately begin transitioning into her new Executive Director position and will join AdkAction full-time in early June 2022.