Luke Foley, Waitsfield, will be joining Friends of the Mad River (FMR) as the climate and engagement manager. He will be spearheading the efforts of the Ridge to River coalition. In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, Ridge to River brought together community members from across The Valley to learn, plan, and act for a more flood and storm resilient watershed. Since 2021, the coalition has begun to broaden its focus to the bigger picture of climate and community resilience. Foley will work to support Ridge to River’s expansion in focus while also building opportunities for the broader community to dive into discussions about a changing climate and landscape here in the Mad River Valley.
Foley comes to FMR with a background as an educator, having worked as an experiential learning coordinator and outdoor educator at Northfield Middle High School. Prior to working in public schools, Foley also worked as a wilderness instructor, international travel guide, and program director for several schools and programs in Vermont, the western United States, and around the world. He was the 2014 Vermont Teacher of the Year and a 2017 National Park Service Climate Resiliency Fellow. Most recently, he received a 2019 Rowland Fellowship to pursue a project that looked to expand experiential learning opportunities in Vermont schools.
“I’m really excited to join Friends of the Mad River and to bring my professional work closer to home. My wife and I moved here 15 years ago and absolutely fell in love with the community and the amazing local landscape. We decided to settle down and raise a family in this special place. I can’t wait to dive into the meaningful work of helping our community navigate the challenges of a changing climate and to be a part of the proud legacy of citizens and stewards.”
Foley lives in Waitsfield with his wife, Rachel, a teacher at Fayston Elementary, and his two children, Nora and Tobin. In his free time, Luke likes to run and bike local trails, swim and paddle in rivers and lakes, and use all types of skis to navigate the winter landscape.