Connecticut Land Conservation Conference

March 25, 2023, Wesleyan University, Middletown

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Herb Virgo

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Herb Virgo

Founder and Executive Director
Keney Park Sustainability Project

Herb Virgo is the founder and Executive Director of the Keney Park Sustainability Project (KPSP). KPSP began as a program of the Family Day Foundation, established to provide hands-on training, on-site demonstrations, outreach, and community collaborations that help families become more self-sustainable and environmentally conscious while preserving the historic Keney Park. KPSP is now the new name of the non-profit organization.

Keney Park Sustainability Project currently occupies a City-owned building in Keney Park, directly adjacent to the project site, and has a number of programs that have demonstrated strong, multifaceted connections to the affected community. KPSP has not only managed the building and its site, but leveraged partnerships across the community to build greenhouses, a community garden, a composting site, a woodworking area, and other features. Significant levels of involvement in the direction of this project have been gleaned by residents (including the youth served by the community garden site, as well as Youth Service Corps volunteers already working on-site), as well as volunteers and others. In addition, KPSP has helped to redevelop a significant portion of the trails within Keney Park, including three years of managing a State-funded trails project. Herbert Virgo has also managed the installation of 15 miles of trails in Keney Park. The project required the collaboration of multiple organization, local and state entities, volunteers and contractors. The rails project also required quarterly reporting and strict accounting procedures.

The Executive Director of the Keney Park Sustainability Project, Herb Virgo, has seventeen years of experience working with the target population. He is a member of the Climate Stewardship Council and works closely with the Public Works Department in Keney Park. The Program Director has seven years of experience as the Event Coordinator for the Family Day Festival overseeing all aspects of the festival. The PD two years of experience as a PD, two years of  experience as a Master Counselor and one year of experience as a Counselor Teacher. The aforementioned experience occurred at a wilderness education program for adjudicated youth. The PD has two years of experience working for the Florida Department of Children and Family Services as a Case Manager. The PD also worked as a Senior Counselor and Site Coordinator for the Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership program for three years.  The PD received his Bachelors in Sociology Based Human Relations from Connecticut College in 2004.

In 2015 Herb Virgo received the KNOX Green Heroes award. In 2016 Herb Virgo received the Hartford Community Food security Award. Herb Virgo was also recently featured in the Hartford Courant and on Fox 61 for creation of a mobile teaching kitchen through funding from the Whole Cities Foundation.

Herb Virgo is a certified Forest Practitioner and a certified Tree Warden. Herb Virgo is a member of the Connecticut Urban Forest Council and a member of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change Working and Natural Lands Working Group [WNLWG]. Herb Virgo is also the recipient of the 2021 COEEA Excellence in Environmental Stewardship Award.