Colin Leonard: Built To Be A Conservationist

Colin Leonard

Some people may think builders aren't built to be land conservationists. Colin Leonard, a general contractor from the Town of Harwich (on Cape Cod), is a terrific example that that’s simply not true. Colin has volunteered generous amounts of time, energy, and knowledge to two land conservation organizations and has been a driving force behind multiple conservation projects. He is a true conservationist if ever there was one.

Colin donated his time to spearhead the design and construction of a 150-foot wheelchair accessible boardwalk at the A. Janet DeFulvio Wildlife Sanctuary, bordering the second largest river system on Cape Cod, the Herring River. He reached out to businesses, which generously donated the lumber and materials. The boardwalk provides all-persons access to a viewing platform and resting bench that overlooks the sweeping salt marsh, and an osprey nesting platform which Colin also designed. Under his guidance, AmeriCorps assembled and installed the platform on a cold, windy March weekend in 2006. A pair of ospreys nested just two weeks later.

Colin is a Trustee of the Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT), and is Chair of their Land Stewardship Committee, which reviews and offers recommendations on prioritizing the Trust’s land management initiatives. Mike Lach, Executive Director of HCT, says that one of the things that make Colin’s conservation work so profound is that he is “willing to take the time and energy to share his knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm with other people to make projects like the boardwalk happen.”

Colin’s conservation ethic, drive, and perspective are noticed and appreciated beyond his home town—he also serves as the Vice-President of The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trust, a regional non-profit land trust service center that provides technical assistance to its 23 member land trusts and watershed organizations. His unique perspective as a builder with a passion for protecting the environment is tremendously valuable to both the Trust and the Compact in helping them protect land for the benefit of all people.