The VNRC board and staff were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Vermont leader Will Raap. Will was a great friend to VNRC; he served on the Advisory Committee for fourteen years since its formation in 2009, as well as on the board from 1999-2004, and helped in many significant ways to guide the organization using thoughtful, broad brush strokes. VNRC staff and board especially appreciated Will’s vast knowledge of the issues facing our natural resources both in Vermont and from a more global perspective. Our thoughts are with Will’s family during this difficult time.
Will Raap founded the Gardener’s Supply family of companies in 1983, and was also the founder and past Chairman of the Intervale Center, whose mission is to develop farm-and land-based enterprises that generate economic and social opportunity while protecting natural resources. Will’s commitment to build linked enterprises guided by social missions extended to Costa Rica, where he was founder of Greening Paraiso, a watershed restoration initiative; founding partner in El Centro Verde, a sustainable agriculture and agroforestry education and demonstration center; founding partner of Finca Lagunita, the first organic CSA membership farm in Central America; and partner in two conservation developments. Will recently focused on two new environmental restoration enterprises: Earth Partners, which works with degraded and vulnerable ecosystems to develop and implement science-based, investment-optimizing restoration projects; and Carbon Harvest Energy, which builds landfill gas-to-energy projects that create renewable distributed energy, run greenhouses and aquaculture from the waste heat, and filter and capture all remaining gas and waste to produce algae for feed and biodiesel. Will lived in Shelburne, Vermont.
We are grateful to Will for his deep commitment to the environmental movement, and his friendship over these many years. We look forward to continuing our work in honor of his legacy. We will miss him.