Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust names new executive director

Jon Hoekstra has taken over as the executive director of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. The announcement was made Monday, his first day on the job.

Most recently the chief scientist and vice president for science at the World Wildlife Fund, Hoekstra also spent almost 10 years working on strategy and conservation for the Nature Conservancy.

The trust was established 24 years ago to unite stakeholders from the Puget Sound to central Washington with a shared vision for conservation that balances people, business, and natural spaces, according to a news release from the trust.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway is a 1.5 million-acre landscape connecting Puget Sound and central Washington, following the Interstate 90 corridor from Seattle to Ellensburg.

The trust works to promote public land acquisitions, connect a continuous regional trail system, teach people about forests and wildlife, and mobilize thousands of volunteers to care for the landscape, the release said.

“This is such an exciting time to be joining the Greenway,” Hoekstra said in the release. “There is a strong synergy and momentum in our community to build a thoughtful, vibrant future for our region. Now is a critical time to secure this impressive legacy and create the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area.”

One of his first major efforts will be to work with Rep. Dave Reichert and Sen. Maria Cantwell to designate the greenway as a National Heritage Area. Legislation to do that was introduced in the Senate and House on June 25.