In the Community

Harvesting hope for the year ahead

After a year of heartbreaking loss and isolation, destruction caused by climate change, a national reckoning with systemic racism and police brutality, and a historic election, these can feel like difficult times to harvest hope. But at Washington Farmland Trust, we are reflecting on the lessons and inspiration we gleaned from this past year and working to infuse them into the work that lies ahead. We hope that these reflections offer you sentiments of joy and renewed energy as you begin this new year.

The ache that I’ve felt in being separated from colleagues, friends, and loved ones this past year has reminded me just how critical human connection is to thriving families and communities.  When it’s safe, I look forward to the joy, energy, understanding, and connection brought forth by sharing space together.

Melissa Campbell, Executive Director

I experienced, first hand, the surge in demand for local and organic food during pandemic related changes to all of our lives. At our farm, we sold out of our products within hours of making them available, and we saw so many new customers dedicate space and finances to eating seasonally and locally. Additionally, I was inspired by the Black Lives Matter conversation and protests, and I am hopeful that this progress and awareness will bring equity and inclusion into how we protect and steward our land resources.

Nate Lewis, Conservation Manager

In the face of indescribable uncertainty, fear, and isolation, I have been awed by countless demonstrations of generosity, kindness, and grace. From supporters, from partners, from friends, from complete strangers. I am hopeful that we, as a people, can carry forward the good that we brought out in each other through the hardest of times.

Gina Kilbridge, Senior Development Manager

This past year, I was heartened to see conversations happening around the immense burden carried by the essential workers who grow our food: farmers. In the face of climate change and a history of racial inequity, I am hopeful that these conversations and the fight for justice within our food system will continue within our organization and in the larger community.

Molly Goren, Communications Director

Like many others, I’ve found it important to balance the extra online time by exploring the outdoors in new ways. Even small amounts of time that would have otherwise have been lost to commuting or traveling is now spent exploring neighborhood parks, local natural areas, and even our own backyard with renewed purpose and curiosity. I’m hopeful this renewed sense of place will help us all recognize the incredible natural resources this region has to offer, and how we can all play a role in their care into the future.

Rusty Milholland, Stewardship Manager

I am inspired by the outpouring of kindness and generosity I have observed and experienced this past year. My hope is that a deep awareness of our interconnectedness, to each other and to the planet, will help heal our divisions. Dreams of a better future for the next generation are keeping be motivated in 2021.

Judith Austin, Director of Development & Donor Engagement