VISITOR CENTER

Vermont Educational Programs

Darla Belevich

Weekend Staff

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 Adirondack, the Grand Canyon, among other destinations. 

Her hobbies include kayaking, rock-climbing and gardening.

Visitor Center staff member

Kim Davis

Weekend Staff

Eager to be engaged in the community, current events, and lifelong learning, Kim volunteers at Rupert’s Kitty Public Library, and is a member of the library’s reading group.
Vermont wilderness facility

Sarah Elliott

Customer Service Representative

Sarah’s lifelong passion for nature has led her to environmental education in various professional and volunteer capacities.

She is currently working on a series of books for children about climate change.

FARM & FOREST

farm work vt

Dylan Durkee

Farm Manager

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. 

Hay wagon team

Tim Duclos

Conservation
Manager

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 of State, Federal, non-profit, and academic institutions, he is excited to apply his interests in land management, scientific research, environmental education, and civic engagement at Merck. 

EDUCATION & PROGRAMS

Chris Hubbard

Education
Director

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.

Family fun in southern VT

Cara Davenport

Program Manager

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. 

ADMINISTRATION

Marybeth Leu

Communications Coordinator

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

Advancement
Director

Liz Ruffa joins Merck’s Leadership team as its first Institutional Advancement Director. Liz launched Northshire Grows in 2014 and grew it into a regional food systems network specializing in farm and food education and business viability services. She lives in East Dorset with her husband Bill, kids Ellie and Will and black labs Dudley and Violet. They are all delighted about her new position!

Kathryn Lawrence

Assistant
Director

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 Terry

Executive
Director

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

President

George Hatch

Wenham, MA

Vice President

Ann Jackson

Dorset, VT

Secretary

Kat Deeley

Lake Pleasant, MA

Treasurer

Keld Alstrup

Manchester Center, VT

Trustee

Jeromy Gardner

Sandgate, VT

Trustee

Jim Hand

Manchester Center, VT

Trustee

Mark Lourie

Rupert, VT

Trustee

Sam Schneski

Guilford, VT

Trustee

Brian Vargo

Bennington, VT

Partners & Collaborators

Farm Based Education Network

Farm-Based Education Network

Mevo


Mahwah
Environmental Volunteers
Organization

Northeast Organic Farming Association

Northeast Organic
Farmers Association

Natural products

Pick-Your-Own Farms

Rutland Area Farm and Food Link

Rutland Area
Farm & Food Link

Solo wilderness

Solo Wilderness Schools

Vermont certified organic

Vermont Certified Organic

Vermont Huts Association

Vermont Huts Association

Vermont Land Trust

Vermont Land Trust

Vermont pure Maple Syrup

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, Aaron Lamp, Kathryn Lawrence, Marybeth Leu, Heather Richardson, Anna Terry, Rob Terry, Karl Uy. We appreciate your contributions.

Thank You!