Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust appoints Nicholas Wildman of New Bedford as new Chief – New Bedford Guide
The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) Board today announced the appointment of Nicholas Wildman as Executive Director, effective July 18th. Wildman, a New Bedford resident, has over 15 years of leadership and project management experience with the Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), a unit of the Commonwealth Department of Fish and Game. Wildman will succeed Dexter Mead who is retiring after 18 years.
“Nick Wildman opens a new chapter in DNRT’s 50-year history of efforts to forever preserve and protect Dartmouth’s natural resources,” said DNRT Board Chairman Andrew Mellgard. “He brings a passionate commitment to DNRT’s mission and the important connection between land and people. He and his wife raised their children hiking the trails of Destruction Brook Woods and the Ridge Hill Preserve, and he hikes our trails regularly.
Photo by Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust.
As head of the DER’s dam removal practice area, Wildman led two dozen dam removal projects across the state, working with landowners, farmers, local governments, conservation groups and other state agencies to achieve a vision of restoring rivers, streams and wetlands. As a project manager, he coordinated nationally and regionally significant aquatic habitat restoration projects in partnership with federal, state, and local organizations. Wildman also represented DER on the Narragansett Bay Estuary Project Steering Committee from 2014 to 2021, including three years as Vice Chairman.
“His work in planning complex projects and in creating and nurturing various partnerships will serve DNRT well,” added Mellgard.
“DNRT is a big part of why Dartmouth is such an amazing place to live, farm and enjoy the natural environment that makes it such a special part of the South Coast,” Wildman said. “I share DNRT’s passion for Dartmouth’s natural treasures and am honored to join a dedicated and accomplished team.
Mead, who announced his retirement in April, plans to work closely with Wildman, the board and staff until Aug. 26 to ensure a smooth transition. Under Mead’s leadership, the DNRT protected more than 1,500 acres of land and added more than 16 miles of hiking trails, while doubling the organization’s membership. He led efforts to build a new headquarters at Helfand Farm in 2016.
“Dexter’s leadership of DNRT and his collaboration with our local environmental partners and the City of Dartmouth have been instrumental in protecting the land, preserving habitat, providing outdoor recreation opportunities and respecting our landscape. common,” Mellgard said.
Wildman holds a graduate degree in environmental management from Duke University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maine at Machias. He is a Certified Practitioner in Ecological Restoration. He and his wife and their two children live in New Bedford.