Written by Paula Fall
The Board of Directors of the North Branch Land Trust announced the retirement of Executive Director Paul Lumia, after 13 years of service to the organization. “It has been an honor to work with many of my fellow citizens here in Northeastern Pennsylvania to protect our most sensitive natural land assets. It takes a community and the Land Trusts’ success is a direct result of the wonderful support we have received from our donors and conservation partners. I would like to thank all of them and encourage everyone in our region to keep an eye on all the special places in nature we enjoy and cherish,” said Lumia.
Lumia first began at the land trust in 2008. He is a life-long resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania growing up in Bear Creek Village and now residing in the Back Mountain area. Before joining NBLT, Lumia served in the United States Army and Pennsylvania National Guard as a field artillery officer and worked in the financial and manufacturing sectors. Under his direction, NBLT has conserved more than 22,500 acres of land in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He has built community awareness for the organization through education and outreach programming, as well as addressed the conservation needs of both municipal and private landowners.
Most recently Paul and the Land Trust staff have been constructing the last six miles of the historic 164-mile D&L Trail, part of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor which will run from Bristol PA to Wilkes-Barre. Paul and the staff are also working to complete a conserved land corridor atop Penobscot Mountain running from Mocanaqua to Crystal Lake in Mountain Top. As of this date, the Land Trust has protected over 6,000 acres along this corridor.
As Lumia steps away to enjoy some leisure time in nature, he has effectively set NBLT on the course for continued success. “In his 13 years at the North Branch Land Trust, Paul has made significant and meaningful contributions to land conservation throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania” said Christina Taylor, Chair of the North Branch Land Trust’s Board of Directors. “Under Paul’s leadership, the North Branch Land Trust tripled the number of acres conserved in our region, forged strong relationships with key conservation partners and built a dedicated team of staff, volunteers and members. From this solid foundation, the North Branch Land Trust will continue its important work of protecting critically sensitive land for future generations to enjoy. We are tremendously grateful to Paul for his hard work and commitment over the past 13 years and wish him the very best as he enjoys his well-deserved retirement”, continued Taylor.
The Land Trust will continue to focus on land conservation and collaborative projects working closely with State and federal agencies, other non-profits and private land owners. Additionally, they will continue their work on his long-term goals, including the creation of a Land Conservation Endowment Fund, one of the key elements Lumia set into motion. This initiative will enable the Land Trust to take a proactive role in land conservation efforts in the region.
The Board of Directors has established a search committee to identify the next Executive Director of the North Branch Land Trust. While the search is underway, Paul will remain in his current position until his replacement is hired. The search committee has already begun its work and will begin accepting applications imminently.