Welcoming Our New Team Members
Northeast Wilderness Trust is delighted to welcome two new staff on board: Sophi Veltrop and Sophie Ehrhardt. Aside from the occasional confusion of having two Sophi(e)s around, it’s been a seamless transition!
Sophi Veltrop is the new Outreach and Communications Coordinator for the Northeast Wilderness Trust. Sophi brings her experience in communications, event planning, land conservation, and outdoor education to the position. She has worked at Vermont Land Trust, Yestermorrow Design/Build School, and EarthWalk Vermont, where she now serves as a board member. Her love of wild, unkempt, raw places emerged early in her childhood and has grown unchecked ever since.
“Often on hikes with my dad, I would stray behind, enraptured by some small bug or plant,” Sophi writes. “Once he hiked quite a ways ahead before realizing I was missing. He came back to find me gleefully tangled in a mess of blackberries, lips stained and fingers pricked, spellbound by the sweetness of that quiet place. The gifts of the forest have nourished and replenished me again and again: the sound of water over rocks and wind through the trees; the welcome sight of spring wildflowers or winter tracks; the smell of the earth after the rain. I could devote my entire life to the forests and waters of the Northeast and still never match the enormity of all I have received. For me, being a part of the Wilderness Trust is an opportunity to be of service to the land, generously and fiercely.”
Sophie Ehrhardt fills the new role of Wildlands Partnership Intern while she pursues a Masters Degree in Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School. She has previously interned with Vermont Natural Resources Council and Vermont Conservation Voters. She, too, found her love of nature as a young child and has carried that connection throughout her life.
“As I child I would roam the woods (well, small thickets somehow left untouched by subdivision) near our neighborhood,” Sophie writes. “I collected leaves, rocks, acorns, flowers and pine cones, build bent-twig shelters, and ate berries. I loved to spy on critters, and caught as many as possible, though I eventually let everyone go. I learned to convince moths to climb onto my fingers, and how to catch snakes without getting bitten.
“Forty years later I have not outgrown my love of wild places. Wilderness trips and local hikes continue to bring me peace and solace. I am finally trying to organize my life so that my vocation can contribute to saving wild places and wildlife. I am thrilled to be interning at the Northeast Wilderness Trust; the mission of “conserving forever-wild landscapes for nature and people” seems more urgent now than ever. I am passionate about the natural climate solutions that forests and other wild ecosystems can provide. Anything I do here that contributes to securing some self-willed land will be greatly rewarding. I’m happy for the chance to learn about land preservation from the NWT team!”