Justin Elicker – Executive Director
Justin works to ensure that the Land Trust is advancing its mission of providing community gardening spaces, preserving open spaces and educating New Haven residents about the environment. Justin grew up in Connecticut and is an active member of the New Haven community, including running for mayor of New Haven in 2013. Justin is an adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut State University and has worked as a sustainability consultant, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and a high and elementary school teacher. Justin received joint masters’ degrees from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Yale School of Management in 2010 and a BA from Middlebury College in 1997. In addition to a passion for gardening Justin and his wife Natalie raise five chickens and a dog named Captain.
Stephen J. Grant - Operations Manager
Stephen is the operations manager for the New Haven Land Trust, helping to keep the office running smoothly. Stephen is a New Haven native with a passion for the arts and outdoors. Following his communications studies at Southern Connecticut State University, Stephen worked for local non-profits and start-ups. He is also a writer that has appeared in many well-known online publications including the HuffPost and Paste Magazine. In 2014, Stephen moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he worked as a freelance writer/photographer, English coach and recording artist. In 2016, he self-published his first book and produced the documentary "AFRO BRASIL" for Vann R. Newkirk II and Josie Duffy Rice's media site Seven Scribes. In his spare time, Stephen loves to create music under the moniker Radio Stevie and camp at national parks.
Bradley Fleming - Community Garden Manager
Bradley oversees the Land Trust's 55 community gardens throughout New Haven. He is an Elm City native who has worked on farms both urban and rural, as well as numerous food access and community building projects. Most recently, Bradley managed the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm. He is passionate about healthy living and is excited to bring his knowledge and expertise back home to share with the New Haven community.
Esther Rose-Wilen - Garden Education Coordinator
Esther Rose-Wilen is a New Haven native with a degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University. She has been volunteering with agriculture projects and community gardens since the 8th grade in Connecticut, New Jersey, Argentina, and Spain. She is incredibly excited to help manage both the Growing Entrepreneurs program and the Incubator Gardens program at the Land Trust. In her free time, when she isn't tending to either of her parents' gardens, Esther might be reading in a hammock or eating tacos at Long Wharf.
Sarah Morrison - Schooner Camp Director
Sarah Directs the Schooner Summer Camp, ensuring all campers have a fun and educational summer and leave camp with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the New Haven coastline. Sarah has been in the environmental education field for over six years directing summer camps, coordinating after-school programs, and leading backpacking trips. Sarah grew up in the Greater New Haven area and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut. Sarah is passionate about youth development, environmental education, fitness, and healthy living. When not working Sarah enjoys floating down the Mill River, biking, hiking, and eating tacos.
Cori Merchant - Schooner Camp Director and Preserves Coordinator
Cori is the Preserve Coordinator and Schooner Director for the Land Trust. She comes from a background of over 15 years of working with youth in environmental, camp and recreational programming in eight different states. She grew up near Madison, WI spending much of her time outdoors and at her grandparent's dairy farm. She has a strong interest in helping others build a love of the outdoors and looks forward to spending her summers with the youth of Greater New Haven! When not working, she spends time playing competitive adult kickball in leagues around New Haven and Hartford and traveling to kickball tournaments throughout the US.
Xavier Hernandez - Growing Entrepreneur
Xavier is a Latino graduate of James Hillhouse High School. He is working hard to become a motorcycle mechanic, graphic designer, or engineer. He worked with the Land Trust for two summers before joining the Growing Entrepreneurs. Xavier loves all types of vegetables.
Rasha is sixteen and is a junior attending Metropolitan Business Academy. She wants to be a Registered Nurse or a Pediatrician. She has gained a lot of new and useful skills during her experience with the Growing Entrepreneurs such as carpentry, gardening, and business development skills. She loves all fruits and vegetables.
Carlos Veliz - Growing Entrepreneur
Carlos Veliz is 15 years old and a sophomore at Eli Whitney. In school, he studies the trade of being an automotive technician. During the time he has spent working with the New Haven Land Trust, he has learned many valuable skills and is happy to be part of the Growing Entrepreneurs team.
Brianna Chance - Growing Entrepreneur
Brianna is a 16-year old junior at Wilbur Cross High School. She is a classical musician, actress, vocalist, and enjoys the fields of science and English. She hopes to combine her interests in the future and attend college.
Nayeli Cruz - Growing Entrepreneur