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Jay Espy Receives Alliance Kingsbury Browne Award

October 3, 2010 | Washington, DC
Jay Espy Receives Alliance Kingsbury Browne Award

Jay Espy (L), executive director of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation (ME), and former president of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, receives the Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award from Rand Wentworth (R), Alliance President.


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Jay Espy, Collaborative Land Conservationist and Capacity Builder,
Receives National Conservation Award


WASHINGTON, DC – Jay Espy, executive director of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, and former president of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, was announced today as the recipient of the Land Trust Alliance’s prestigious Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award. Espy was selected for the award for the way he has pioneered a collaborative approach to land conservation, set the trend for other land trusts, made an impact across the land conservation movement, and has served as a mentor. Espy is the fifth recipient of this honor awarded by the Land Trust Alliance to recognize outstanding leadership, innovation and creativity in land conservation.

Espy was also named to serve in the Kingsbury Browne Fellowship at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy for 2010.  In his role in this fellowship, named after Boston attorney Kingsbury Browne (1922-2005), Espy will engage in researching, writing and mentoring associated with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a Cambridge-based think-tank with a focus on land policy.

Both awards were presented in Hartford, Connecticut at the Land Trust Alliance’s Rally 2010: The National Land Conservation Conference, the largest annual gathering of professional and volunteer conservation leaders in the US.

“Having invested more than twenty years in the effort to conserve land on a large scale, I am proud to have shared in the successful conservation of thousands of acres of our cherished landscapes," Espy said. "I am honored to be a part of a wonderful community of people from all walks of life, willing to stand up and work together to conserve land that fosters healthy communities for all to enjoy for generations."

Rand Wentworth, president of the Land Trust Alliance, said: “Jay is a generous leader and philanthropist who has an amazing ability to see beyond the local level, and impart a vision for a larger good. In his role at the land trust, he gathered collaborators through the Maine Land Trust Network to conserve land on a much larger scale." Wentworth added, "With more than 125,000 acres protected by their partnership efforts, Jay was vital to keeping everyone focused and engaged in the long-term process which bore an immense conservation legacy."

Espy joined the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation as its first executive director in January 2008.  The Sewall Foundation is a private, grant making foundation focusing on conservation, animal welfare and social needs, primarily in Maine.  For the prior two decades, Jay served as president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization.  During his tenure, Maine Coast Heritage Trust accelerated its land protection efforts along Maine’s entire coast, conserving more than 125,000 acres and establishing the Maine Land Trust Network, which helps build capacity of local land trusts throughout Maine.  He also led the Trust’s successful Campaign for the Coast, raising more than $100 million for conservation and doubling the amount of protected land on Maine’s coast and islands.

Espy is a graduate of Bowdoin College and holds Master’s degrees from the Yale School of Management and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  He serves on the boards of the Maine Philanthropy Center and the Canadian Land Trust Alliance, and is a former chair of the Land Trust Alliance, a national organization serving land trusts throughout the United States.

Kingsbury Browne and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy had a long history together.  In 1980, as a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Browne first envisioned a network of land conservation trusts, and convened conservation leaders through the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, which ultimately led to the formation of the national Land Trust Exchange (later renamed the Land Trust Alliance) in 1982.  Browne is considered the father of America’s modern land trust movement, a network of land trusts operating in every state of the nation.  Together these land trusts have conserved more than 37 million acres, an area the size of New England.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy began the Kingsbury Browne Fellowship in association with the Land Trust Alliance offering its first Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award in 2006. Winners are chosen from a group of their peers, honoring lifetime contributions to the field of land conservation and work reflecting the values that Kingsbury Browne brought to his own seminal achievements.

Armando Carbonell, senior fellow and chairman of the Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute, said he looked forward to having Jay Espy serve as the Kingsbury Browne Fellow, as his expertise can enhance many ongoing initiatives in regional collaboration and development.

About The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land. Providing high quality education and research, the Institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy. As a private operating foundation, whose origins date to 1946, we seek to inform decision-making through education, research, policy evaluation, demonstration projects, and the dissemination of information, policy analysis, and data through publications, our Web site, and other media. By bringing together scholars, practitioners, public officials, policymakers, journalists and involved citizens, the Lincoln Institute integrates theory and practice and provides a nonpartisan forum for multidisciplinary perspectives on public policy concerning land, both in the U.S. and internationally. Land conservation is a major theme of the Institute’s Department of Planning and Urban Form, chaired by Armando Carbonell.

About The Land Trust Alliance
The Alliance is a national conservation organization that works in three ways to save the places people love.  First, we increase the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected.  Second, we enhance the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using the best practices in the business. And third, we ensure the permanence of conservation by creating the laws and resources needed to defend protected land over time. The Land Trust Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and has several regional offices.  Visit

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