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Jennifer Dillon Photo submitted

Dillon elected president of Sharon Land Trust

SHARON — Jennifer Dillon, a member of the Sharon Land Trust’s (SLT) board for three years, recently was elected president.

Dillon has first-hand experience observing rapid development of small towns brought on by increased demand for large tracts of land, she said.

Having resided in Sharon for more than two decades, Dillon has a deep commitment to the town and the SLT’s interests in conserving and preserving acreage to benefit the natural world and the community’s rural character for residents, present and future.

“I love Sharon, with its unique character and beautiful views,” Dillon said on Friday, Jan. 20.  “It’s easy to think that it will never change. But I grew up in New Jersey, and when I drive past the acres of sub-divisions and big box stores there, I am acutely aware of what it looked like ‘before’.  I can remember the farms and local businesses that have literally been paved over. For that reason, I don’t take Sharon’s natural beauty for granted. I know that it endures, in part, because the Sharon Land Trust has worked for over 40 years to maintain the area’s rural character and open spaces.”

Before moving to Sharon, Dillon lived and worked in Asia, including in Wuhan, China, experiencing the effects of unchecked development on cities and small towns.

Dillon earned her BA and MBA from Columbia University and has been employed by Goldman Sachs and the Asia Society.

Dillon said that she and her husband bought their Sharon home 23 years ago, across the street from what she describes as one of the prettiest, most quintessentially New England farms in Sharon.

“When our kids were little, we would walk on its dirt road, chat with the farmer, and watch as the foals and calves grew,” she recalled, adding that today the farm is protected in perpetuity thanks to an agricultural easement donated by the owner and held by the Sharon Land Trust.

“When I travel through Sharon and see the signs marking SLT’s miles of public hiking trails and nature preserves, I’m filled with pride and a sense of community,” Dillon said.

Executive Director Maria Grace indicated that SLT protects more than 3,000 acres of open space in Sharon, with nine public preserves and 24 miles of passive hiking trails open to the public daily from dawn to dusk.

For more information about SLT, go to sharonlandtrust.org.

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