Susan P. Mucciarone is Natural Lands’ Next Board Chairperson
retired Glenmede executive to lead the conservation non-profit board
MEDIA, Pa., January 25, 2024 – Susan P. Mucciarone has been elected as chairperson of Natural Lands’ Board of Trustees. Natural Lands is greater Philadelphia’s oldest and largest land conservation organization, having preserved more than 135,000 acres in its 70-year history, including 40+ nature preserves and one public garden totaling more than 23,000 acres.
“I am honored to step into this important role,” said Mucciarone who has served on the Natural Lands Board since 2014 and recently retired from her role as executive director, private wealth, at Glenmede, a leading investment and wealth management firm. “Protecting our open spaces, caring for them wisely, and ensuring access to the outdoors is essential to the health of our region and all of us who live here—now more than ever. Natural Lands is uniquely positioned to take its mission and its role as leader in the conservation movement to the next level, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside our trustees as chairperson.”
During her term, Mucciarone will prioritize working with the Board of Trustees on significant fundraising to support the long-term sustainability of Natural Lands’ mission and working with staff to develop a strategic plan that will guide the nonprofit through 2030. Making the conservation community more inclusive and welcoming will continue to be a key priority. “Nature is a great equalizer,” Mucciarone said. “We must continue working intentionally to ensure that everyone has a place in the greater Natural Lands community.”
“I can think of no one better to lead our board moving forward,” said Jane G. Pepper, who will continue in her role of vice-chairperson. “The work of Natural Lands to promote natural climate solutions through conservation and land stewardship is more important than ever. We’ll benefit from Susan’s relationship-driven approach to leadership, her experience with strategic growth plans, and her passion for protecting the natural world.”
Mucciarone’s love for nature came early. One of her favorite memories is that of her father pridefully planting an oak tree when she was a young girl. “Over the years, this special oak tree served as a touchstone in our relationship to mark the seasons, years, and a shared love of nature.”
Mucciarone nurtured this love of the outdoors at summer camps through the Girl Scouts and other organizations. She continues to cultivate that early sense of joy and reflection. “When I hike at a Natural Lands preserve or elsewhere, it’s the trees that always inspire me—their beauty, importance to the ecosystem, and ability to connect us over generations and across differences.”
For the past 30 years, Mucciarone has been active in board and committee commitments. In addition to her service at Natural Lands, she currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Case Western Reserve University and the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Pennsylvania and is a member of the Board of Directors at The Glenmede Trust Company of Delaware.
Mucciarone succeeds Peter O. Hausmann, who retired from the role of chairperson after serving for 20 years in two separate tenures. “Peter’s influence on this organization—and on open space preservation at the local, state, and national levels—has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said President Oliver Bass. “His work building an open space program in Chester County has become the model for other county programs in our region and across the country.”
During Hausmann’s tenure as leader of the Board of Trustees, Natural Lands permanently protected 36,972 acres of open space, grew its network of nature preserves by 7,400 acres, and added Stoneleigh: a natural garden. In addition, the organization increased its capacity to steward natural resources under its care, launched important engagement programs, and made its properties more broadly accessible for people across the region, resulting in a 10-fold increase in visitation.
Bass continued, “We all hope to leave a legacy. Peter’s is deep and will last for generations. And, fortunately for us, the story of his legacy is still being written because he will remain an active member of our board and continue to inspire us all.”
Mucciarone said, “I’m thrilled that Peter will continue to serve our board to share his experience and expertise with Natural Lands. It is a privilege to take the baton from such an important and impactful leader.”
Hausmann is enthusiastic about his successor. “Susan has already contributed to so many Natural Lands successes and will bring important energy to the role of chair. Her commitment to our mission and her enthusiasm for deep engagement make her an ideal choice to lead the Natural Lands Board of Trustees as we look to elevate and accelerate our conservation impact on the region.”
Natural Lands is dedicated to preserving and nurturing nature’s wonders while creating opportunities for joy and discovery in the outdoors for everyone. As the Greater Philadelphia region’s oldest and largest land conservation organization, Natural Lands—which is member supported—has preserved more than 135,000 acres, including 40+ nature preserves and one public garden totaling more than 23,000 acres. Nearly five million people live within five miles of land under the organization’s protection. Land for life, nature for all.
Please note: “Natural Lands” is the organization’s official operating name and should be used instead of its legal designation (Natural Lands Trust, Inc.).
Kirsten Werner, Senior Director of Communications
610-353-5587 ext. 267