Darla taught outdoor skills and physical education to generations of college students, introducing them to the joys of the outdoors in trips to Merck Forest, the Adirondacks, the Grand Canyon, among other destinations.
Her hobbies include kayaking, rock-climbing and gardening.
Regular visitors to Merck will be happy to see a familiar face: Katie Connor has returned to help us staff the VC during the week.
FARM & FOREST
Dylan grew up on his family’s dairy farm. As a farm kid, he learned all aspects of farm management, animal husbandry and crop care; he has broadened his skill set with experience working for an electrical and general contractor.
Dylan’s passion is to raise healthy livestock and to manage the land in a sustainable manner.
Growing up exploring the woods and waters of Vermont, Tim has long been inspired to conserve and protect our natural resources. With a BSc and MSc in the field of ecology, and experience working with a variety governmental and non-profit institutions, he is excited to apply his interests in land management, scientific research, environmental education, and civic engagement at Merck.
EDUCATION & PROGRAMS
Chris spent decades as an educator and traditional folk artist. She’s brought that experience to bear in expanding Merck’s educational programs.
Chris and her husband have a small farm and enjoy sea kayaking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
In an exciting development, Cara has moved from apprentice into a new role at Merck. As our newly-appointed Program Manager, she will bring her passion for integrating conservation, community, and outdoor work to a new generation of students.
Marybeth joined us in 2015. She has over two decades of experience in the high-tech industry.
In her free time Marybeth loves scuba-diving, woodworking and puttering in the garden.
Liz Ruffa joins Merck Forest’s leadership team as its first Institutional Advancement Director. From 2014 – 2018, Liz launched and expanded Northshire Grows, a regional food systems network specializing in farm and food education and business viability services. Liz has also worked with Common Good VT, VT Arts Council and VT Sustainable Jobs Fund since joining Vermont’s mission-driven sector. She serves on the Vermont Foodbank’s Board of Directors, was appointed in 2018 by Gov. Scott to the Vermont Community Development Board, and is a member of the Town of Dorset’s Select Board. She lives with her family in East Dorset.
Kathryn joined us in 2010. Her professional experience in finance and business is essential to our team.
Kathryn lives in Pawlet with her husband Rick, where they tend vegetable gardens, horses, cats and chickens.
Rob has taught in a number of experiential outdoor programs, and his passion is to foster in our visitors the desire to connect in meaningful ways to the natural landscape at Merck Forest.
He and his wife Anna enjoy introducing their two children to new adventures in the outdoors.
Board of Trustees
Lake Pleasant, MA
Manchester Center, VT
Manchester Center, VT
Sue Van Hook
Partners & Collaborators
Farm-Based Education Network
Farm & Food Link
Solo Wilderness Schools
Vermont Certified Organic
Vermont Huts Association
Vermont Land Trust
Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association
Many people contributed photos for inclusion in this website: Darla Belevich, Tim Callahan, Melissa Carll, Chris Hubbard, Katie Connor, Ethan Crumley, Kat Graden, Angela Kilpatrick, Aaron Lamp, Kathryn Lawrence, Marybeth Leu, Heather Richardson, Anna Terry, Rob Terry, Karl Uy. We appreciate your contributions.