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ELA News – June 2022

Farewell with a Note of Appreciation

The office team at ELA has always been a small, versatile, and passionate group committed to ELA’s mission to promote sustainable and regenerative landscape practices. But, our work could not have been accomplished without the support and help of a larger group.

We take this opportunity to thank ELA’s Members. We thank you for your financial support, your many notes of appreciation, your eye for detail (typo, anyone?), and your environmental stewardship efforts.

We also thank the many subject matter experts who continue to further the ELA mission by sharing their knowledge and experience with the ELA community through lectures, webinars, tours, and ELA Newsletter articles. By generously sharing your expertise with thousands of event attendees and readers, you make an invaluable contribution to the cause of healthy land practices.

We have enjoyed being part of the ELA community and collaborating with so many amazing people. Next month will see some additional office changes:

●       Penny Lewis, ELA’s Executive Director, concluded her tenure with the organization at the end of December after over 16 years.

●       Maureen Sundberg, ELA’s Executive Assistant, former ELA Newsletter Editor, and former Board member, completes her time with ELA at the end of June after 15 years.

●       Georgia Harris, ELA Newsletter Editor and the force that kept the ELA community in-the-know about ELA news, environmental trends, and events for the past two years, will also complete her service with ELA at the end of June.

After June 30th, you may continue to connect with ELA at

We hope ELA remains a critical voice encouraging healthy land choices for people, wildlife, and the planet. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do to further a vital cause.

With great appreciation and fond memories,

Penny Lewis         Maureen Sundberg         Georgia Harris

From the Board of Directors

Dear ELA community,

This was a banner year for your Ecological Landscape Alliance. We continued to expand programming with the addition of Eco-Answers for members and continued a robust schedule of webinars. Our Annual Conference and Eco-Marketplace was held virtually for the second year in a row and was an even bigger success than last year. Thank you to those of you who participated and gave feedback about the conference. We aim to continue offering programs that are on the leading edge of ecological topics, research, and practices from a wide range of voices and perspectives.

As many of you know, in December we said goodbye to our long-time Executive Director, Penny Lewis. Penny led ELA to heights many of us could never have anticipated, including double digit membership growth, the impressive slate of educational programs you’ve come to expect, and a reputation for being at the forefront of ecological approaches to landcare. Later this year, we will also say goodbye to Georgia Harris, our newsletter editor for the past few years, and Maureen Sundberg, our Executive Assistant. Georgia joined ELA’s team at the beginning of the pandemic and managed the newsletter during a time when many things felt uncertain. Maureen has been an integral part of the ELA community for more than a decade, serving as a board member, editing the newsletter for 11 years, and stepping in to work as Executive Assistant when it was clear the work required to run ELA had grown beyond what one person could reasonably expect to accomplish on their own. We thank these passionate, talented, and dedicated folks who have shaped ELA in countless ways.

When Penny first announced her departure in 2021, the ELA board looked inward to reflect on where we have been and where the organization is going. We updated our Vision, Mission, and Values to ensure we had clear direction about the organization’s future, and we plan to complete a new strategic plan over the next year. In the coming weeks, we will introduce our new staff team. We’re thrilled to have them join us, and we know they’ll ensure that you continue to receive timely updates, quick responses to your questions, and outstanding educational content.

As always, please visit our website to learn more about upcoming events and programs, including the 10th annual Focus on Sustainability webinar series, and our three fall conferences: Season’s End Summit, Regenerative Solutions for Resilient Landscapes, and the Ecological Plant Conference.

If you’re looking for more ecological information, be sure to check out the website where you can search for newsletter articles by topic.

We are excited about what is ahead for ELA and look forward to sharing more with you soon!

Rie Macchiarolo, President

Mark Richardson, Vice President