About Us

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Alec Ellsworth

Parks Director

Alec Ellsworth (he/him) is the Parks Director and Tree Warden. He oversees the Parks & Trees Department, which includes a staff of four and two Americorps members. The department takes care of all of our City Parks, and maintains all the trees on City property and in the City right-of-way along every road in Montpelier. Alec started working for the City of Montpelier in 2013, and has been Parks Director and Tree Warden since 2020. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and has the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ). Alec enjoys being with his family, playing music, and being outside as much as possible.

Joseph Ferris 

City Arborist

Joseph (he/him) is a lifelong lover and explorer of the land and forests surrounding Montpelier. He joined the parks team in late spring 2023 as a natural fit following a career in residential tree care, as well as orcharding, nursery work and organic agriculture. Joseph favorite activities in the tree world include exploring old growth stands, climbing and measuring tall tree specimens, picking and processing fruit and nurturing young trees in the nursery. 

Leila Faulstich

Parks Supervisor

Leila (she/they) is the Parks Supervisor. In addition to doing tree work and other essential park tasks, Leila helps manage the various programs of the Parks Department including the Montpelier Youth Conservation Corps, the AmeriCorps program, the Feast Farm, and volunteer opportunities. Leila grew up in  Costa Rica, and has slowly, and begrudgingly acclimatized to the winter during their four years at the Parks. She loves trees, chainsaws, improvisational dance, creative writing, striving for a  less oppressive world, and friendships.  

Cara Barbero

Crew Leader

After many rewarding years of child tending, decades of part-time pizza slinging, and an awesome stint with Vermont State Parks, cara barbero (they/them) joined the Parks & Trees Department in the spring of 2018. Their job title of Crew Leader is code for ‘does a little bit of everything, which feeds their eclectic interests. cara has been a Montpelier resident since 2007, and feels very fortunate that keeping natural spaces open and accessible to the community is valued here. cara’s favorite parts of their work are being outside(especially in the warmer months!), stewarding sacred natural spaces for all to enjoy, driving big trucks, creative projects, tree work, running machinery, learning new skills and methods of resourcefulness, and working with an amazing crew that cares deeply about each other and our community. When not in the parks, cara enjoys spending time with their family and other beloveds, singing, exploring fun playgrounds, board games, letterboxing, and making efforts toward social and environmental justice.

Marek Zajac

VHCB AmeriCorps Member

Marek (they/he) is a Midwesterner by nature, a Pacific-Northwesterner in spirit, and a Vermonter at heart. Throughout their experiences living and exploring across the United States, Marek has found the natural world where they feel most at home. While helping with the Parks & Trees Department in Montpelier, Marek’s dream of supporting the local community while tending to the needs of our shared lands happens everyday. In addition to conservation, Marek is passionate about artistic expression and emotional learning!

Alex Mckearin

Eco-AmeriCorps Member

Alex (she/her) was born and raised in a small upstate New York farm town before moving further north to attend Plattsburgh State. Here she obtained a degree in biomedical science with minors in chemistry and gender and women's studies while working as a physics TA, an infant preschool teacher, and a patient care technician at a hospital and center for individuals with developmental disabilities. Plattsburgh's close proximity to the Adirondack region helped her to uncover a passion for outdoor recreation and natural spaces that greatly outweighed the previous pursuit of a career in the medical field. In the spirit of helping other BIPOC youth discover the joys of nature, she moved across the lake after graduation to begin working in the environmental sector through the ECO AmeriCorps program. When not admiring the various scenes of the park you can find her playing the piano/drumset, writing poetry, throwing clay, or climbing a rock face.

Charlie Watt

Feast Farm Manager

Charlie (he/him) recently moved back east after spending 8 years out west chasing snow, farming seasonally, and earning his doctoral degree in Plant Sciences and Education. Charlie is a lifelong biologist who enjoys doing any kind of work that keeps him outside. He used to prefer working with animals but farming has taught him that plants and seeds are the true magic makers of this world. Charlie loves teaching and sharing what he knows but also loves learning from plants, his co-workers, and students alike. When he's not resting from a hard days work, you can find him down by the river or cooking the plants that he grows and making deliciousness to share with his friends and family. Charlie also loves to ski and run and most of all, spend time with his wife, Madi, and their two dogs, Sequoia and Caddis.