The Land Trust Welcomes New Executive Director Meredith Hendricks
Source: Land Trust
The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County welcomes a new
executive director with local roots, Meredith Hendricks, following an extensive nationwide search.
Hendricks joins the Land Trust at a time when the organization is pushing ahead several significant
conservation projects— finalizing as many as 10 conservation easements, bringing the organization’s
total conserved acreage to 45,000 by summer 2021—and actively searching for opportunities to expand
community access to natural resources throughout the county.
Carpinteria rancher and Land Trust Board of Trustees President, Scott Van Der Kar stated “The Land
Trust is more active today than it has been in its history,” and “Meredith is the perfect leader to take the
organization to the next level in executing an ambitious strategic plan.” Van Der Kar noted that the
organization is growing partnerships and community relationships and Hendricks’ expertise will be
“instrumental in deepening the Land Trust’s role as an important community leader.”
Hendricks brings 20 years of conservation, land management, and environmental nonprofit leadership
experience—and energy—to Santa Barbara County. Her work has focused on permanently conserving
land for future generations and developing public open space within the urban environment of the San
Francisco Bay Area, including 7 years as the Director of Land Programs at the nationally accredited land
trust, Save Mount Diablo.
“Everyone deserves to spend time outside connecting with our spectacular landscapes, now and forever. I
love building community around land conservation for agriculture, recreation, and wildlife. I am honored
to join a dedicated team taking action to conserve Santa Barbara County’s important and beautiful
Among Hendricks’ most important and proud career accomplishments is the creation of the Dr. Mary
Bowerman Science and Research Program, providing small grants, especially to students, for research
projects on Save Mount Diablo’s properties and protected land network in the Bay Area. She also
successfully worked on the expansion of the regional Marsh Creek Trail network and was instrumental in
resolving the 40-year long fight to protect the last 95 acres of historic Anderson Ranch from subdivision,
ensuring the property’s long-term preservation.
With her family’s local ranching history dating to the late 1800s and her conservation background,
Hendricks understands the remarkable value of the ecosystems that make up Santa Barbara County’s
complex landscape. For Hendricks, the opportunity to reconnect with her roots while working to conserve
these unique lands made the executive director role at the Land Trust irresistible.
When asked, Hendricks mentioned that the project she is most looking forward to is the Land Trust’s goal
to create a signature preserve—like the Arroyo Hondo Preserve—for the communities of Santa Maria
Valley. Hendricks plans to explore how best to expand outdoor public recreation and access to nature in
the northern part of the county by listening to the community and building relationships that authentically
represent the needs of local residents.
Hendricks measures conservation wins in terms of benefitting both the natural world, the community, and
the local economy. Her commitment to equity, justice, and respect for everyone in Santa Barbara County
is grounded in her belief that “people know what they want and need from the places they live and enjoy.
My job is to craft conservation solutions that serve all living beings whenever possible.”