Lisa Gent and Suzanne McGinn “Retiring” After 20 Years of Service on the CELT Board - Cape Elizabeth Land Trust


Lisa Gent and Suzanne McGinn “Retiring” After 20 Years of Service on the CELT Board

It is time for the CELT Board to bid farewell to two incredible individuals who will be leaving the Board this fall after serving almost continuously for 20 years. As we approach this milestone, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to Lisa Gent and Suzanne McGinn for everything they have done — and will continue to do in the future! — for our community through their volunteer service at CELT.

Lisa and Suzanne founded CELT’s education program in 2003. Since then, they have been integral to developing these educational opportunities into the multi-grade, year-round program of today, including the newest place-based learning programs at Turkey Hill Farm that are embedded in the middle school curriculum. As our education program grew and more people got involved, Lisa and Suzanne took on myriad other roles serving the organization as well.

With degrees in education and environmental studies, Lisa has taught both children and adults, spent several years as an environmental education consultant, and managed the Environmental Center at Maine Audubon Society in Falmouth.  Says CELT’s new board member, Jill Darling, who has served alongside Lisa on the Education Committee and will be taking over as chair,

Lisa is a gifted naturalist and educator. She has made an impact on so many
children who live in Cape Elizabeth by starting the CELT field trips many years ago and
working hard to grow our presence in the schools and the Cape Elizabeth community.
I am so grateful for all that she’s done.

Lisa is also a well-known jeweler who designed and hand forges the special silver oak tree pin that is presented to members of CELT’s Oak Society (members who remember CELT in their estate planning). “I was very honored to make this piece,” she says. “It’s a perfect combination of my love for the outdoors, commitment to CELT, and my passion as a jeweler.”

Suzanne moved to Cape in the summer of 2003 and quickly began volunteering with CELT, co-chairing the Education Committee for many years and then chairing the Stewardship Committee, where she dug in to every project the committee faced. She and her husband Neil were often the ones who brought chainsaws out to clean up after a storm, helped put up the tent for Paint for Preservation, and quickly volunteered for any other project that needed help.

Most notably, Suzanne served as one of the chairs of CELT’s hugely successful Forever Cape: A Campaign for our Community, that raised over $7.5 Million to enable CELT to conserve four properties in three years and establish endowment funds for both perpetual stewardship and organizational sustainability. Says Julian Coles, another of the campaign chairs,

Suzanne’s passion for CELT is infectious. When you work with someone who is that
passionate, it makes your efforts easy. She’s a real class act who has made an
enormous impact on conservation in Cape!

Suzanne still leads school nature programs, participates on the Board’s Executive Committee and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice working group, and serves as an advocate for membership and development, connecting donors with CELT programs she feels passionate about. As she leaves the Board, she is looking forward to spending more time with her other passion: fly fishing!

Suzanne and Lisa, we are so grateful to have had your generous support and unwavering
commitment to CELT’s mission over the past two decades. While we are sad to see you
leave the Board, we are confident that you will continue to make a difference here
at CELT and elsewhere. Thank you both

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