Staff

Karen Mauney-Brodek, President

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Karen Mauney-Brodek is President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, working to restore and improve the Emerald Necklace’s 1,100 acres for all. She led the successful celebration of the Conservancy’s 20th Anniversary in 2018 with the presentation of Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace, a world-class exhibition of site-responsive art throughout the Necklace, and is currently leading a major revitalization of Charlesgate Park with neighborhood group Charlesgate Alliance. Karen is a board member of Preservation Massachusetts, and is a member of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Special Commission, where she aids DCR in improving the management and operations of the resources it stewards.

Prior to joining the Conservancy, Karen served as Deputy Director for Park Planning in the San Francisco Parks Department, where she led outreach, communications, planning, design and construction of numerous projects and initiatives. She developed two public bond measures overwhelmingly approved by San Francisco voters that provided $400 million for parks. Prior to that, she was Chief of the Design Build Program in the Design & Construction Division of the New York Department of Parks & Recreation, managing a $15 million annual program to select, design, and build or rebuild all or portions of 100 parks and playgrounds annually.

Adam Banks, Programs and Events Coordinator

Adam coordinates events and programs throughout the Emerald Necklace in addition to working to maintain the physical landscape of the parks. Born and raised in Jamaica Plain, he has lots of memories of using the Emerald Necklace and is excited to contribute to the parks’ role as a community space and urban ecological system. Adam graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 2021. Having previously worked at two other Boston park organizations, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and Arnold Arboretum, he hopes to apply his knowledge in the fields of horticulture and community engagement to his role at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy going into the future. In his spare time Adam enjoys birdwatching, gardening and reading.

Declan Battles, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Declan works to increase the public’s awareness, appreciation, use of and support for the Emerald Necklace and the work of the Conservancy through social media, special events, communications and media relations. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Suffolk University with a degree in Public Relations with a Minor in Media & Film. Bringing experience from prior work with the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, McNeil, Gray & Rice, and Suffolk University’s Dept. of Communications, Journalism & Media, he has been passionate about open space and its need in urban communities since childhood. He is a lifelong fan of music, movies, hiking and the outdoors.

Alyx Britton, Land Stewardship Coordinator

Alyx is serving as the TerraCorps Land Stewardship and Community Engagement Coordinator at the Conservancy this year.

Alyx recently graduated from Harvard College with a BA in Environmental Science & Public Policy and Studies of Women, Gender, & Sexuality with a focus in food systems. Over the past five years, they’ve helped found and maintain numerous initiatives to support and advocate for low-income individuals, first-generation students and LGBTQIA+ folks. Now, they’re eager to merge their passion for social justice with their love of the outdoors at the Conservancy. Outside of work, you can find Alyx tending their herb garden, fixing furniture they find on the sidewalk and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

Julia Damiano, Volunteer Engagement and Policy Coordinator

Julia coordinates and communicates with the Conservancy’s Access Committee, Advocacy Committee and Park Advisors. Before joining the Conservancy, Julia earned a B.S in Agriculture and Natural Resources with a concentration in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Delaware. She is currently pursuing an M.S in Environmental Science and Policy and a certificate in the Nonprofit Sector, Philanthropy and Social Change from Northeastern University. When Julia isn’t working, you can find her with her cat, drinking coffee.

Maria Ferreira, Education Coordinator

Maria holds a PhD from the Baylor University School of Education in Exercise, Nutrition, and Preventive Health. Her postdoctoral fellowship focused on Native North American Medicinal Plants, at the University of Kansas.

She has taught and conducted research at Haskell Indian Nations University and First Nations University of Canada, and is committed to Indigenization of science. At the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Maria coordinates educational programs.  She envisages a great opportunity to bring outdoor resistance exercise to the Emerald Necklace parks, thus addressing resistance exercise access inequity. She is also a former provincial level Olympic weightlifter and assistant coach in Quebec.

Erica Holm, Field Operations Coordinator

Erica helps manage tree care initiatives through the Conservancy’s Olmsted Tree Society program as well as landscape restoration projects throughout the Emerald Necklace. Before joining the Conservancy, she conducted songbird research at the University of New Hampshire where she received a BS in Natural Resources. Erica has experience in research, environmental data analysis, retail sales, and music blogging. She can often be found taking long walks in Jamaica Plain with her rescue dog, Mango.

Kent Jackson, Director of Education

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Kent is an experienced program administrator and a seasoned educator who has successfully created, developed, directed, facilitated and evaluated environmental education, nature connect and leadership programs for more than 20 years. Kent has previously worked with The Appalachian Mountain Club, Eagle Eye Institute, The Trustees of Reservations and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy.

Maggie Renou, Visitor Engagement Assistant

Maggie Renou is serving as the Visitor Engagement Assistant for the Conservancy. She is a student at Northeastern University working towards a combined degree of Environmental Sciences and Landscape Architecture, with a minor in Geosciences. Maggie is interested in conservation, sustainability and environmental activism. She is originally from Tampa, Florida and enjoys spending time outdoors, especially during the warm weather, and visiting local Boston attractions, like the Museum of Fine Arts.

Jamie Santuccio, Events Manager

Jamie joined the Conservancy in 2017 after a previous roles managing everything from non-profit galas and fundraisers to supper club dinners, weddings and marketing events. She manages details and logistics for the Conservancy’s annual Party in the ParkAnnual Meeting, Summer on the Emerald Necklace event series and the biennial Emerald Evening. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking in the White Mountains, yoga and pottery.

Briana Thomas, Development Manager

Briana manages the Conservancy’s donor database and  stewardship projects, and assists with development projects and events at the Emerald Necklace. She completed her undergraduate degree at Gordon College and recently returned to the area after working in development at the Albany Institute of History & Art. Growing up in the shadow of New York State’s Adirondack Park, she has loved the fresh air and respite that parks preserve from an early age.

Veronika Trufanova, Director of Development and External Relations

Veronika (Nika) is responsible for overseeing the Conservancy’s fundraising, marketing, public relations and public programs. Nika previously worked at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, where she led the Institutional Giving program for over six years, raising unrestricted, project-based and campaign support from corporations, foundations and government granting agencies. She also held several roles on the development team at the Harvard Art Museums, encompassing database management, development operations and donor and member events. Nika holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Haverford College. She is an avid tea drinker and an unabashed Italophile.

Mailing Address

350 Jamaicaway, Boston, MA 02130

Shattuck Visitor Center

125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115

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