Ryan Martin will be taking the reins of the Viles Arboretum beginning in July. Ryan comes to this position with Maine roots and a wealth of experience in all of the areas pertinent to the work of this Augusta based non-profit. Ryan was selected out of a pool of more than a dozen applicants and his experience with non-profits, enthusiasm and multidimensional skills clearly made him stand out. Ryan comes to the position from the Tilton School of New Hampshire, where he has been Director of their Summer Institute, a residential/day summer school program. Earlier in his career, Ryan worked for the Isleboro Adventure Camp and the Maine Trust for Education, both heavily focused on environmental education. Working with botanical collections, public outreach, fundraising and non-profit governance are all familiar ground for Ryan. “I’m so pleased and honored to assume the role of Executive Director this upcoming June 29th. During these difficult and unprecedented times, there's an even greater need for Viles Arboretum and the services it provides for our community. For those of us quarantining in city apartments and townhouses without green space readily available, access to the outdoors isn't just important, it's essential. With over 200 acres located in the heart of our historic Capital City, Viles Arboretum is the perfect place for people of all ages to explore a diverse landscape filled with rich and immersive opportunities for recreation and learning.
This summer, we will break ground on our new Education Center, which will provide the Arboretum with an important new facility from which we can continue to expand our current program offerings and events. If you haven't had an opportunity to support this effort, I encourage you to do so. We are a community-led organization, and the efforts of our many members, volunteers, and partners make this initiative possible.”
Outgoing Executive Director Mark P. DesMeules commented, “We are all very excited to be able to pass the baton to Ryan for the next decade of exciting and new efforts at this outstanding arboretum resource for Maine and beyond. It’s clear that Ryan is up to the task and very enthusiastic about moving forward with exceptional programming for this institution. I personally really look forward to working with Ryan on the transition and overseeing the completion of the new Education Support Center.”
The Board of Directors, both current and past, wish to thank Mark DesMeules for his leadership, knowledge, devotion, work ethics and tireless spirit in his 12 years as Executive Director of the Arboretum. Under his leadership, memberships increased, new programs were created, areas spruced up, trees were identified and tagged, new partnerships were formed among other things which has made the Viles Arboretum a destination to visit. Local people, as well as world travelers have signed our guest book. We will miss his day to day presence but his spirit of excellence lives on.
The Viles Arboretum is centrally located in Augusta, Maine on 224 acres of fields, forests, wetlands and with botanical collections from around the world. We offer an ever-changing selection of inspirational exhibits, educational and practical programs for the general public and for schools. We focus on interactive, creative and hands-on teaching with a focus on botany and natural history. Our goal is to unlock everyone’s natural ability to understand the nature of our world through your own eyes and by using your own intellect.
We strive to make our 224 acres of fields, forests and wetlands, play a key role in contributing to the quality of life for Maine citizens and visitors from every corner of the world. Our presence contributes significantly to the quality of life in and around Augusta and beyond and our newly installed Art Trail presents the largest publicly accessible display of outdoor art sculpture in Maine.
You can learn more about the Arboretum and its programs, or how to become more involved by checking our website at www.vilesarboretum.org