New boss brings deep environmental background to Greenway Trust
Jon Hoekstra is the new executive director of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.
He replaces Cynthia Welti, who retired in 2014 after seven years leading the organization.
Hoekstra previously worked as chief scientist and vice president for science at the World Wildlife Fund and spent nearly a decade at the Nature Conservancy.
He plans to aggressively work to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a 1.5 million-acre landscape that connects the Puget Sound region to Central Washington — as a National Heritage Area. The designation will protect the region’s high quality of life and potentially strengthen rural tourism.
“There is a strong synergy and momentum in our community to build a thoughtful, vibrant future for our region,” Hoekstra said. “Now is a critical time to secure this impressive legacy, and create the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area.”
Hoekstra’s first day is June 29. He will participate in the organization’s 25th anniversary biking and hiking excursion across the Greenway from Ellensburg to Seattle, slated for July 11-19.
Seattle-based Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is a diverse coalition of business, government agencies and nonprofit organizations working to promote conservation, including the acquisition of public land. It was founded in 1991 by Jim Ellis, a prominent civic activist and a partner in defunct Seattle law firm Preston Gates & Ellis.