The longtime leader of Portland Trails is leaving the nonprofit at the end of the year.

Kara Wooldrik has served for 10 years as executive director of the urban land trust, which is responsible for developing a trail system that stretches for over 70 miles in Portland.

During her tenure, Wooldrik has overseen the expansion of a trail network that places every residence in Portland within a 10-minute walk of a trail or greenspace.  Those trails connect Portland with several neighboring towns including South Portland, Westbrook and Falmouth.

“Kara has passionately served in the leadership of Portland Trails for 10 years and has been instrumental in ensuring the people of Greater Portland have safe and equitable access to a high-quality trail network that encourages active transportation and connection throughout our communities,” Portland Trails Board Chair Kate O’Brien said in a statement.

Portland Trails board members will begin a national search for a new executive director on Jan. 1.

Wooldrik plans to stay active with the World Trails Network, a global nonprofit association committed to the sustainability and enjoyment of the world’s trails.

In 2019, Wooldrik attended conferences in Japan and South Korea where she shared her insights into the benefits of trail networks and the community building aspect of constructing trails.

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