WILMINGTON, MA — Town Manager Jeff Hull recently introduced the Wilmington’s new Conservation Agent — Ryan Hale — at a Board of Selectmen Meeting earlier this month.
Hale, who replaces longtime Conservation Agent Winifred McGowan, comes to Wilmington with more than 13 years of experience in the private sector, working for engineering companies in the areas of conservation, wetlands protection, natural resource management and the environmental permitting industries.
“One of the things I find most advantageous, quite frankly, is that Ryan has been working for a number of years in the private sector… He’s worked with companies who are sitting ‘on the other side of the table’ when it comes to the permitting process,” noted Hull. “Having that perspective in his new role will be advantageous… We’re glad to have him on board.”
Hale attended the State University of New York and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. He also holds a Professional Wetlands Scientist certification and is a member of the Society of Wetland Scientists and Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists.
“[Ryan] has great technical skills. He can identify wetlands very easily. He’s shown he can weed through the wetland regulations. What impresses me the most about Ryan is that he can effectively communicate,” said Planning & Conservation Director Valerie Gingrich. “He has a problem-solving knack. He’s a great addition to the team. We’re happy to have him.”
The Town notes that Hale will serve as staff support to the Conservation Commission and assist residents as they seek to navigate the process for obtaining the necessary reviews and determinations for landscaping or construction work that is regulated under the state’s Wetland Protection Act. Hale will also engage in outreach to the public explaining the importance of wetlands, as well as helping to implement the town’s Open Space plan.
“It’s really an honor to come work in a town with such valuable natural resources,” said Hale, noting that the Ipswich River begins as headwater streams here in Wilmington.
“Thank you for choosing Wilmington to begin the municipal side of your service,” said Selectman Chair Mike Champoux. “We’re certainly looking forward to putting to work your breadth of experience in the private sector.”
“Welcome aboard. In Wilmington, we had a lot of water, a lot of train tracks, and a lot of Dunkin Donuts,” joked Selectman Ed Loud. “I’m glad we have someone with a lot of knowledge who will continue to do what the town’s been trying to do.”
“It seems like you have a good background,” said Selectman Kevin Caira. “I’m sure you’ll be called upon quite a bit when the town’s environmental issues, like Olin, come to the forefront.”
“Welcome to Wilmington. We’re very pleased to have you. I was very impressed by your presentation and resume. It sounds like you’ll do a great job,” said Selectman Greg Bendel. “We have a lot of wetlands in town and we value them.”
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