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Desert Foothills Land Trust appoints new Executive Director


CAREFREE – The Board of Directors of Desert Foothills Land Trust has announced the appointment of Vicki Preston as the organization’s Executive Director. Preston joined the Land Trust in 2011 as the Conservation Director. She will continue her role in land conservation as well as assume her new duties as Executive Director.

Preston takes over from Patrick McWhortor, who helped the organization transition its leadership in 2016, and will continue working with DFLT as a consultant.

“Vicki has exhibited leadership as a conservation professional for many years,” stated Richard Burns, Chairman of the DFLT Board of Directors. “As we moved through our leadership transition during the past year, it became clear Vicki was ready to step into the top leadership position at DFLT. We are very excited about her vision and plans for the future.”

Preston has been with DFLT for over five years. She grew up in Northeast Ohio, near the shores of Lake Erie, surrounded by plentiful natural beauty, which instilled in her a passion for protecting our environment. After graduating from The Ohio State University, Preston worked for local government and conservation groups. Preston served as the Land Protection and Watershed Planning Coordinator at a Land Trust in Ohio, where she helped protect and steward nearly 3,700 acres before relocating to Arizona and joining DFLT. 

“Our beautiful Sonoran Desert is an unparalleled landscape, and one that unfortunately is quickly being converted from its natural state. This is why I am so passionate about our mission and why our work is so critical,” said Preston. “It is truly an honor to work with the Board of Directors to create a vision for the future of DFLT and to work toward achieving our goal of protecting the landscape we love, acre by acre. I will continue to be proud that I work with such an amazing group of volunteers, stewards and supporters who share their love for our beautiful desert.”

DFLT connects people to nature by working with communities and partners to conserve and steward sensitive lands and species for the survival of our Sonoran Desert. Led by a volunteer board of directors and a small staff, DFLT is a well-respected organization working to conserve the most sensitive and important open spaces in the communities of Anthem, Carefree, Cave Creek, Desert Hills, New River, North Phoenix, and North Scottsdale. To date, it has conserved more 680 acres on 23 preserves, many of which are open to the public for recreation and exploration.