Rick Leader, Executive Director

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Rick, working with a fourteen-member board of directors, directs the easement and stewardship program of the twenty-seven-year-old SRLT and oversees its growing portfolio of 61 easement properties covering over 2,700 acres.  He is leading SRLT’s pursuit of national accreditation and managed the merger of another land trust into SRLT.  Rick is the 2012 recipient of the Aileen Hughes Award for leadership and innovation in conservation from the Maryland Environmental Trust. He is a former Vice President of the National Audubon Society. Rick is the former Assistant Director of the Chesapeake Bay Trust where he was active in the management of Maryland’s commemorative Chesapeake Bay license plate program and the Bay and Wildlife tax check-off.  While at the Trust, Rick reviewed over 3,000 grant requests for Bay restoration projects.  For five years he managed the Bay Bridge Walk festival in Sandy Point State Park as a fundraiser for the Trust. Rick has served on a wide variety of regional boards and committees, currently he is an Annapolis Green board member, a member of the MET Land Trust Advisory Committee and on the Coordinating Council of the Four Rivers Heritage Area. Rick is originally from Cecil County and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Maryland.

Sarah Knebel, Conservation DirectorKnebel 7.2018

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Joining SRLT in early 2015, Sarah manages landowner and public outreach programs, as well as coordinating SRLT Steward Volunteers and the annual Walk for the Woods. She also assists in drafting conservation easements with particular attention to baseline reports. She is the former co-founder and environmental lead for Oxen, Inc., which created a sustainable local farm to door online delivery service. She is a former program manager for the Severn Riverkeeper Program where she concentrated on communications, water quality monitoring and volunteer restoration activities. She was also a naturalist at Patapsco Valley State Park. Sarah has a BS in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Environmental Restoration and Management from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Erin Valentine, Communications Coordinator


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Erin joined the Scenic Rivers team in 2019 as the Communications Coordinator. A publishing and communications professional with nearly 20 years of experience helping nonprofits further their missions through well-crafted messaging, Erin assists in executing Scenic Rivers' annual public outreach plan, helping to build wide-spread awareness of the conservation and preservation programs.

Prior to joining Scenic Rivers, Erin was the Development and Communications Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Trust, where she was responsible for communications, fundraising, and event planning activities. Prior to that, she was a developmental editor for the Water Environment Federation in Alexandria, Virginia, which fostered her passion for water and environmental issues. She was a managing editor for the Association of International CPAs for 10 years, a production manager for Pearson Prentice Hall in Boston, and started her career at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, in Atlanta, Georgia.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. Originally from beautiful western Maryland, Erin has always had an affection for the woods and is thrilled to play a role in helping to preserve the scenic and natural lands of Anne Arundel County.