DRA and PWA move forward toward unification

It all begins on February 11! On that date, the two governing boards of DRA and PWA will meet as a single board for the first time, marking the start of joint operations for the new organization.

Like DRA, PWA is focused on land and water conservation and education. The two organizations have a history of working closely together in the Damariscotta-Pemaquid region that dates back to 1991, when the DRA and PWA pooled resources to share office space in downtown Damariscotta. This past September, our respective memberships voted overwhelmingly in favor of unification with a start date of February 2019.

construction tour at DRA's Round Top Farm

DRA and PWA staff and boards take a tour of the construction at Round Top Farm.

DRA Executive Director Steven Hufnagel has been named Executive Director of the new combined DRA-PWA organization.
The unified Board of Trustees will include all current members of the two parent boards, under the leadership of an Executive Committee with strong representation from both. Joel Russ of DRA and Michael Kane of PWA will serve, respectively, as DRA-PWA Board President and Vice President.

“I think in knitting together DRA and PWA we hit a sweet spot in terms of geographic and organizational scale,” Steven observes. “While becoming even more effective regionally, we remain responsive and grounded locally. Volunteers and professional staff working together provide expertise, bandwidth and energy that neither could alone.

“For the community,” Steven continues, “this union will mean more connected high-quality natural areas where wildlife can thrive, more and easier-to-access trails, more outdoor programs for youth and adults, more conserved farmland on which to grow healthy food for our neighbors, and more water quality monitoring in our local waterways.”

We have not yet chosen a new name. In fact, we welcome any and all suggestions! Anyone with an idea to share can do so online right here. You may even win a prize!

When completed later in the spring, the renovated and rebuilt 1890 farmhouse at Round Top Farm will serve as the DRA-PWA’s new home, a community hub for conservation and education.

map of DRA and PWA lands and area of conservation activity

Click on the map for a larger view.