Our Board.

Marty Detering, President

(2007) - President

A resident of a Londonderry Township farm since 1985, Marty is a former township Supervisor and EAC (Environmental Advisory Council) Chairman. As EAC chair, and with help from many volunteers, she created the 7acre East Elk Nature Preserve with funding from a DEP Growing Greener grant and the Township.

Horses are an integral part of the Detering family. For 37 years Marty has been involved with equestrian competition, training, teaching, hunting, and breeding. She continues to serve as a volunteer and officer in equestrian organizations from local pony clubs to national federations.

Marty has a B.S. in Chemistry and Education from Springfield College, Springfield, MA. She has taught high school chemistry, physics, and math. In her spare time you can find Marty weeding or landscaping a garden on her farm or for others, or mulching the plants with donations from her horses.

Denis Newbold


Denis is an aquatic biologist with the Stroud Research Center in Avondale, Pennsylvania. His research focuses on nutrient cycles in stream ecosystems. Denis’ primary interests include the transfer of nutrients from small headwater streams to larger rivers and the role of streamside forests in maintaining stream habitat and improving water quality. He serves on the Board of the Chester County Water Authority and on the Penn Township Planning Commission. Denis graduated from Swarthmore College in Engineering, received a Master of Science in Hydrology from Cornell University, and a Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley in Aquatic Biology.

Hank Detering
Ralph Churchill
Melanie Ryan

(2005) – Executive Director

Melanie Ryan RLA, LEED AP is a registered landscape architect in Pennsylvania. She has twenty-five years experience as a site planner and project manager working with private consulting firms. She currently serves as a member of the Elk Township Planning Commission and is the chair of the Elk Township Open Space Committee. In addition, she serves on the Oxford Area Regional Comprehensive Plan Task Force, and served two years on the Pennsylvania Water Resources Lower Susquehanna Advisory Committee. Previously, she served on the Fair Hill Environmental Foundation Board of Directors and Cecil County, Maryland Forestry Conservation Board.

Martha D. Straus 


Martha is a registered landscape architect with her own design and planning firm, Straus Associates involved with residential, commercial and institutional work. An active environmental educator, Martha has guided many elementary and intermediate school students through nature trails within the Avon Grove and Oxford Area school districts.

A graduate of Tufts University with a Masters degree from Cornell University, Martha has been in practice in Chester County for over twenty years. A resident of New London Township, Martha is a member of the Comprehensive Plan Task Force and past member of the New London Township Planning Commission. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Circle of Tapawingo, a summer camp for girls who have experienced the death of a parent and has been an active volunteer counselor at Circle of Tapawingo for the past nine years. She lives with her husband, daughter and animals and enjoys hiking and swimming with them in the Big Elk Creek.

Rachel Roberts

Rachel Roberts is the Executive Director of the American Mushroom Institute and worked for 5 years with regional conservation organizations, including as Executive Director of The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County. She has 20 years of experience in policy consulting, government and non-profit management and connecting business leaders, elected officials and community leaders, which she puts to use for conservation and agriculture working together to thrive.

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