April 16 Speaker Series: Sonoma County Ag + Open Space, Land for Life

Abstract: You may have seen Sonoma County Ag + Open Space making front-page news lately! From the Laguna de Santa Rosa to the Mayacamas, Ag + Open Space has been conserving natural and working lands that help keep our air and water clean, provide habitat for plants and wildlife, and create opportunities for everyone to get outside and explore. This month, Ag + Open Space’s Amy Ricard (Community Resources Manager) and Jennifer Kuszmar (Acquisition Manager) are joining us to share about exciting recent projects, Ag + Open Space’s work over the last 30 years, and what they’re working on now. Created by Sonoma County voters in 1990, Ag + Open Space is a community-created, taxpayer-funded agency that creates lasting protections for agricultural and natural lands, forever.

Jen Kuszmar, Sonoma County Ag and Open SpaceBios: Jen Kuszmar has been working in natural resources in several capacities over the last 20 years. She has served her community working with the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Program, LandPaths, Sonoma Resource Conservation District, and the North Coast Resource Partnership at the County of Humboldt before joining Sonoma County Ag + Open Space in 2015. Her career has provided her the opportunity to roam the forests, rivers, meadows, and mountains throughout Northern California. Jen currently leads the Acquisition program which invests in the permanent protection of the highest priority lands in Sonoma County via conservation easements and fee transactions. In her free time, Jen enjoys traveling, discovering new restaurants, gardening, watching live music, and taking long walks with her husband and dog.

Amy Ricard, Sonoma County Ag and Open SpaceAmy Ricard has over 15 years of experience working in non-profits and government agencies in the fields of communications, marketing, community engagement, and policy. She was the Media Relations Manager at Oakland-based Save The Bay before returning to her hometown of Santa Rosa in 2012. She worked briefly as a Communications Coordinator at the Redwood Empire Food Bank before joining Sonoma County Ag + Open Space in 2014. She currently leads the Community Resources program, which provides information, technical assistance, and funding to the community through outreach and communications, grants, and other supportive programs. She is passionate about the environment, community service, and social equity. When she’s not at work, you can find her exploring the outdoors, watching soccer, doing puzzles, traveling with her family, or enjoying a good meal with friends.

Milo Baker Chapter General Meetings and Speaker Series are held on the third Tuesday of each month (except for July, August, and December) at 7:30p.m. Meetings are held at the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa, or via Zoom.

Zoom link to this presentation: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85746616804