Molly K. Morrison, a well-known advocate for protecting and conserving open spaces, natural areas, and farmland in southeastern Pennsylvania, will be retiring from Natural Lands at the end of 2018 after 14 years as the organization’s president.
Under Molly’s leadership, Natural Lands has preserved permanently more than 32,000 acres of open space – including landmark additions to their preserve system such as Bear Creek, Bryn Coed, ChesLen, and Green Hills Preserves along with Stoneleigh: a natural garden – and elevated the organization’s focus on stewarding natural resources and connecting people to the outdoors.
“The successes that Natural Lands has experienced during Molly’s tenure make us all very proud. But she is always the first to reinforce that none of them would have been possible without the dedication, commitment, and shared camaraderie of our staff, volunteers, members, and organizational leadership, to include the Board of Trustees and President’s Council,” said Peter Hausmann, chairman of the organization’s board.
Though Molly will be retiring from Natural Lands, she will continue to serve the community. She plans to continue to be a member of the Chester County Planning Commission board. She is also serving as one of the three co-chairs of the Landscapes3 Steering Committee, and the Planning Commission will begin to implement the plan for the county’s future next year.
In addition to her involvement with the Planning Commission, Molly currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Zoo, the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, and Uptown! Entertainment Alliance. She also serves on the executive committee of the Growing Greener Coalition. She previously served as chair of the GreenSpace Alliance, which advocated for conservation in the Philadelphia region.
Before being named president of Natural Lands, Molly served for three years as the organization’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining the organization, she was director of policy and planning of Chester County for 13 years. During that time, she helped to launch the county’s groundbreaking open space preservation program and their award-winning Landscapes, Linking Landscapes, and Watersheds planning programs. Molly also served as a member of the Natural Lands Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2000, prior to her staff involvement.
Molly has received numerous awards and accolades for her work, including being named one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Women of Distinction” (2012), the CRC Watersheds Award (2013), and the Rebecca Lukens Award (2013).
Natural Lands will be celebrating Molly’s career on November 10th. The organization’s Board of Trustees has formed a transition committee and is undertaking a national search for her successor.