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A new way to protect the environment: CLF ventures is ... (CLF Ventures).

Blessed With a Gifted Staff

This is Conservation Matters' first page ever devoted to CLF Ventures, the CLF affiliate that develops business and financial strategies to protect the environment and conserve natural resources. What better time to introduce the people who make Ventures' considerable accomplishments possible?

Alan Wilson, Ventures' Vice President, has been associated with CLF for more than 20 years. He has a JD from the Boston University School of Law, and is the elected town moderator of Manchester, MA. From 1989 to 1995, he was chairman of the Massachusetts Audubon Society; currently, he's on the National Audubon Society's Board of Directors. In his spare time, Alan enjoys sailing, cycling, cross-country skiing, and hiking in the White Mountains.

Doug Foy, who recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as CLF President, is also President of CLF Ventures. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he has served on some two-dozen boards, and in 1992 he received the President's Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award -- America's highest conservation honor. In 1968, Doug was a member of the US Olympic Rowing Team, and, in 1969, the US National Rowing Team. He still enjoys sculling on the Charles River, and rock climbing -- all over the country.

Martha Broad, on the Ventures staff since 1998, runs our Environmental Insurance Agency and is Director of Venture Development. She has an MBA from Yale, 20 years experience in both non- and for-profit "green" marketing, and she started up and ran the company that made Rainforest Crunch Candy. During leisure hours, she bicycles and downhill skis with her husband, Glenn, and young sons, Evan and Austin. Martha also nurtures a suburban Boston flower garden that manages to attract Large numbers of colorful butterflies.

Scott Darling, a CLF Staff Attorney, is our community organizer and assists with Ventures' Brownfields Initiative. He has an International Law diploma from Dublin's Trinity College, and a JD from Suffolk University Law School. His interest in urban education led him in 1990 to found a "Saturday School" for African-American boys -- the W.E.B.Dubois Academy. It enlisted MIT and Harvard students to teach math, science, and life skills. In 1995, it became Cambridge's Bennecker Charter School -- teaching computer technology.

John Davenport, a CLF volunteer attorney, works mostly with Ventures. In 2.5 years with CLF, he has helped develop a vehicle for investing in sustainably managed forests. From 1984 until joining CLF, he was Associate General Counsel of Liberty Financial Companies, Inc. A graduate of Columbia Law School, not only is John a serious classical pianist, but this summer, under the aegis of a group called Global Volunteers, he and his wife Sally visited Romania; he taught English to high school students, while she helped care for orphans.

Jim Hamilton, Director of CLF's Brownfields Intitiative, spent five years as Divestment Program Manager at Lockheed Martin Corporation, where he conceptualized, designed, and launched the company's $250 million Brownfields Redevelopment Program. He has an M.S. in Environmental Technology and Policy from MIT, and an unofficial Ah.D. (Doctor of Adventure) from many places, having hitchhiked across Alaska and the Yukon in 1986; and, three years later, kayaked among Gray Whales in Baja, where a "baby" Gray Lifted his kayak two feet from the water.

Julie Roberts, Staff Associate, assists Doug Fay and Alan Wilson. She has a BA in Anthropology from Grinnell College, but her favorite course came after graduation; it was in Conservation Biology and Wildlife Management, lasted five weeks, and took place in India (Assam), the "most exotic" place she's ever traveled. Julie has also been "all over Europe and the Carribean," in 40 of 50 U.S. states, and hopes that her next trip will be to Madagasgar. She's currently taking a course in belly dancing.

Laura Scott is a CLF Staff Assistant who works with CLF Ventures and the Communities Project. She has a BA in religion from Princeton University, is an enthusiastic photographer, and before joining CLF spent seven summers in the Adirondacks -- leading hiking and canoeing trips. She's currently training for The Cape Cod Marathon -- her first marathon, but she admits, "It's just to get outside. If I lived in New Hampshire or Vermont, I'd be hiking all the time."

Dano Weisbord, a Ventures Planner and Project Manager, earned an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. He came to CLF last year as an Environmental Policy Fellow, and soon was co-authoring our forthcoming Community Rules: A New England Guide to Smart Growth Srategies -- a guidebook on zoning for smart growth in New England cities and towns. He enjoys birding and sea-kayaking, but hasn't had much time for either recently; he and his wife, Annie, have a five-month-old son, Reid.

Contributing to CLF Revenue

We had a very good year financially," says Alan Wilson. "We think the numbers will show that Ventures produced about 1.8 of CLF's $5.3 million in total revenue. Our target, when we started, was about one-third of CLF's total, and this year we hit it. That's exciting."

Helping with Urban Renewal

CLF Ventures is working with The Sturtevant Partnership, a joint venture of Grave- star, Inc., a Cambridge, MA development company, and Taurus New England Investments Corp., in responding to a Request for Proposal issued by the City of Somerville, Mass. The RFP is for renewal of the approximately 9.3 acre Yard-21 parcel -- in the city's Assembly Square Urban Renewal District. Yard-21 is a brownfields site, and it abuts the Orange Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (The T).

The partnership is proposing a mixed-use, high-density, transit-oriented development for Yard-21 and surrounding parcels, and CLF shares that vision. In issuing the RFP for Yard-21, in order to turn it into an urban community, a new T-stop would be needed. The partnership's proposal involves creating new streets throughout the area along the T-line, along with six- to 22-story buildings.

Ventures is working with the partnership in three areas:

* Community Outreach and Facilitation -- involving stakeholders in the process;

* Brownfields -- providing technical assistance and outreach on contamination issues;

* Transportation -- advocating a new Orange Line T-stop; getting a stop is the key to redeveloping the area in a sustainable way.

It would take two to three years to complete the disposition of Yard-21, but the partnership would be able to begin building sooner -- on land it owns that adjoins the parcel.

A decision was made by The Somerville Redevelopment Authority -- soon after CM went to press.

Advising at Chelsea Creek

CLF Ventures was hired by New Jersey's Amanda Hess Corporation to do a community-based, re-use planning process in East Boston, where, 20 years ago, Hess had stored oil in five to eight tanks on an eight-acre site along Chelsea Creek. When the energy crisis ended, it wasn't feasible to store oil there anymore, so ten years ago Hess removed the tanks. But the ground beneath them had become contaminated. Now the community wants to clean up the site, located on Condor Street within a designated port area (Chelsea Creek) that allows marine industrial activities.

Hess hasn't decided yet what to do with the land, but for nearly five years the East Boston Community, along with the Chelsea Creek Action Group (CCAG), has been working with the company on the matter. Hess hired Ventures to help the company understand community aspirations for the site, and to develop consensus-based redevelopment plans.

Ventures proposed a look at three issues: regulatory constraints, market forces, and community visions. Over the last eight months, and in partnership with CCAG, Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, and The Watershed Institute, Ventures has run a series of facilitated community vision meetings, and has performed a regulatory and market analysis of the site. These three ingredients make up the key elements of a final report that will be released shortly. We will then begin working with potential developers as they express interest in the site.

In leading such a project, Ventures is setting a new standard for community based redevelopment planning. We are promoting a climate of consensus and collaboration, as opposed to the all too common antagonistic approach. The end result will be a stronger redevelopment scenario, in line with stakeholder interests.
Alan Wilson
Vice President of CLF Ventures

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Article Details
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Author:Wilson, Alan
Publication:Conservation Matters
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2001
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