Board of Directors

Ralph Peck, President, and his wife, Jane, have lived in Holden since 1974.  For 15 years Ralph has been chairman of Boy Scout Troop 180, formerly known as Bob Elms’ troop.  He was among those present with the Scouts when they demonstrated camping out at Trout Brook, in Winter Carnivals past.  He is a native of Springfield, a graduate of Williams College and Michigan Law School, and worked with the commercial real estate department at State Mutual and has practiced law independently.

Scott Morrison, Vice President, is a wetland and soil scientist. Formerly he was a park ranger working in several Massachusetts State Parks. His interests include environmental education and land preservation. In his free time he enjoys hiking, kayaking, and skiing.

Anthony Costello, Treasurer, was drawn to conservation work as a result of spending his childhood in the English countryside, and has been an enthusiastic naturalist since he was five. He loves rural places and wild places, preferably open upland. A retired psychiatrist and university professor, he worked for the British Medical Research Council on studies of child development before coming to the States. He is now a member of the Holden Conservation Commission.

Kenneth Strom, Secretary.

Dixie Estes is the principal of Naquag Elementary School in our neighboring town of Rutland. She has worked in the Wachusett Regional School District for over twenty years. Before she was a school administrator, she was a 4th grade classroom teacher and a K – 12 curriculum liaison. As an educator, she is committed to enhancing environmental education and considers it her responsibility to share, model and teach the importance of land and natural resources conservation. Originally from Tennessee, Dixie’s enjoys enjoys kayaking, hiking and traveling whenever possible.

Jennifer Leith’s long record of teaching elementary grades in Holden continues with the 4th Grade at Mayo School.  She has long been collaborating with White Oak’s nature education program   She has received Commonwealth recognition for her work in both nature education and American history–her Ellis Island project.   She and her husband and their  dogs enjoy a White Oak property out her back door–the Zwiep parcel.  Her husband Duncan has chaired the Wachusett Regional High School Committee through recent years including the building project.

Duncan Leith.

Paul McManus has managed to turn a life-long love of the outdoors into a career as a wetland scientist.  In addition to working with White Oak, he is active in the International Society of Wetland Scientists, serving as the New England Chapter President.  He lives in Holden with his wife Margaret and two middle school children.  The McManus family spends as much time as possible on the snow, in the woods, and messing around in boats.

Craig McColl