SEMPBA Logo Pine Barrens in fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

About SEMPBA

SEMPBA—Working towards preserving biodiversity and assuring a sustainable future within the Massachusetts Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens

SEMPBA is non–profit, all–volunteer group dedicated to raising awareness about the need for urgent action to preserve the globally rare Pine Barrens of Southeastern Massachusetts. We believe that by providing learning opportunities and building an action-oriented network of conservation groups, businesses and individuals, we will be able to pool our resources and turn around the escalating trend of rapidly disappearing and deteriorating Pine Barrens habitat and move forward towards a future of cooperative living between humankind and the natural world.

SEMPBA focuses on the four most critcal issues causing the decline of our pine barrens:
•  Fragmentation: development, road construction, non-native plants
•  Fire suppression/lack of habitat management
•  Illegal uses, i.e., off-road vehicles, dumping, off-trail hiking
•  Lack of education and awareness

Help preserve our pine barrens. Join SEMPBA and become part of the solution.

SEMPBA Brochure

Sharl HellerSharl Heller
President

Sharl is a founding member and the current president of the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance. She is a founding member and the former president of Friends of Myles Standish State Forest. She helped found and serves as a facilitator for the Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network and is a Massachusetts Keystone Cooperator. Sharl is always willing to travel throughout the Commonwealth to support Friends groups and advocate for state forests and parks. Saving the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens has become her mission in life.

Cheryl King Fischer

Cheryl King Fischer

Cheryl's professional career is rooted in the philanthropic, the non-profit and public sectors.  From 1996 until 2014, she served as the founding and executive director the New England Grassroots Environment Fund.  Prior to that, as Regional Director of the Vermont Land Trust, she coordinated the permanent conservation of 38 land conservation projects (10,000+ acres of Vermont farm and forestland). As a community planner and organizer, she drafted town plans for several Vermont communities; and as a public engagement coordinator for the New England River Basins Commission's Lake Champlain Basin Study she helped citizens understand the science and policy of that planning process. Cheryl is one of the co-coordinators of the Massachusetts Coastal Pine Barrens Partnership.

Evelyn Strawn
Evelyn Strawn
Treasurer

Evelyn is the long-time chairman of the Conservation Commission, a Trustee serving as the Development Committee Chair for the Pilgrim Society, a Town Meeting representative, co-founder of the Network of Open Space Friends and founding member and former vice president of the Friends of Myles Standish State Forest. In 2012, she received the President's Volunteer Service Award in recognition of contributing over 4,000 hours of volunteer time. She is the owner Artemis Rhodesian Ridgebacks and spends time everyday walking her dogs in the forest near her home.

Frank Mand
Frank Mand

Executive Committee

Frank is a creative writer and journalist who has received awards for poetry, humor columns, news writing and photo journalism. A former editor of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine Frank has written for and edited a number of publications, published his own weekly newspaper, and in 2013 received four awards and was named Feature Writer of the Year for Gatehouse Media (300+ newspapers in 27 states coast to coast). Frank has a BA in English Literature from Boston College, an MBA from Northeastern University, a Certificate in Professional Publishing from Stanford, and a Certificate in Web Management from Emerson College. Recently, Frank taught himself how to make charcoal circa 1825, which he ably demonstrated at SEMPBA's Pine Fest.

Love Albrecht Howard
Love Albrecht Howard

Secretary

Love Albrecht Howard has owned her landscape and garden design business since 1994. A lifelong passionate gardener and plant lover, Love has taught gardening at local adult education classes and chemical-free lawn and land care through the Arnold Arboretum. Her design work and project management has been featured in national magazines and on the HGTV and DIY cable networks.  She attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Northeastern University and the Landscape Institute of Harvard University. She is the author of the best-selling, So You Want to be a Garden Designer: How to get started, grow and thrive in the landscape design business, Timber Press 2010, and a contributing author to Fighting Light Pollution: Smart Lighting Solutions for Individuals and Communities, International Dark Sky Association, 2012. 

Judy Whitehouse

Judy Whitehouse

Judy Whitehouse joined SEMPBA in March 2015. She has her Bachelor's degree from UMASS Dartmouth in Accounting and has worked in the accounting field for more than 20 years. She has a passion for nature and the environment and is a former volunteer for the New England Aquarium.

John Galluzzo
John Galluzzo

John Galluzzo grew up in Hull, Massachusetts, flipping over rocks looking for crabs on the bay, exploring his inner naturalist from his earliest days. He earned his bachelor's degree in history from UMASS Amherst in 1993 and has never looked back, writing more than 35 books on the history and nature of the northeast, including Half an Hour a Day Across Massachusetts, for which he took a 30-minute nature walk in each town in the state to prove that open space in the state is accessible to all. John is the Director of Education and Camping for the South Shore Natural Science Center, coauthored Mass Audubon's Breeding Bird Atlas II and was named the 2013 Volunteer of the Year for Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

Carlos Fragata
Carlos Fragatta
 

Mr. Fragata has extensive personal and professional environmental education, research and protection experience. His public sector experience includes working for ten years as a Conservation Agent for the Towns of Plymouth and Norton. Continuing his service to the public sector, he has worked over 15 years as an analyst with the MassDEP Boston and Southeast Regional Office's Wetlands and Waterways program, and as a Wetlands Scientist for MassHighway's Wetlands and Water Resources Unit. Mr. Fragata is presently an Environmental Analyst with the MassDEP Waterways Program. He has also been involved with environmental education, co-leading a 4-H science club, SET Camps with UMass Amherst, leads wetlands presentations and field walks for schools and environmental education organizations and participates in Biodiversity Days/Bioblitz, and annual Coastal Sweep Beach Cleanups in the Plymouth area. He volunteers for the New England Aquarium Marine Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Department (including work with turtles, seals, dolphins and a whale). Mr. Fragatta holds a BS from Umass Dartmouth, Double Major, Biology and Marine Biology and is a Mass. Certified Soil Evaluator.

Alex Belote
Alex Belote

Alex Belote grew up just outside of Boston and attended Unity College in Maine, where he earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies. After a few years working in Alaska Alex moved home to Massachusetts to pursue his passions of wildland firefighting and ecological management. Since 2007 Ale has worked in the pine barrens of southeast Massachusetts through his work at several companies including The Nature Conservancy. He has spent a great deal of time working in local forests such as Myles Standish and Manuel Correllus State Forest on habitat management projects. Alex is an experienced wildland firefighter and is knowledgeable of pitch pine/ scrub oak ecosystems and management. The future of the pine barrens, particularly the fate of the rare and endangered species that call them home, are of great importance to Alex.

Sheila Sheridan
Sheila Sheridan

Sheila Sheridan, as a child and young adult, enjoyed summers in Myles Standish Forest at the "cottage."  Upon her retirement from Harvard University' Kennedy School as director of facilities and services, she moved to Plymouth. She then taught and spoke internationally about sustainability for the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and the international Facility Management Association (IFMA).
As an active Goldenrod Foundation member, she participates in the Beach Ambassador program. Come June through September, you can find her monitoring Plymouth Bay as a citizen scientist for the Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown.

Denise Stowell
Denise Stowell

Denise Stowell divides her time between Plymouth, where she grew up, and New York City where she has been a fabric designer for over 40 years. She has redirected her love of flowers and plants away from the Jacquard fabrics that she styled, designed, and colored for many years, to the native plants that are here in our backyards. Her love and appreciation of the rare coastal plain pond plants inspired her to paint a mural in the Nature Center at SEMPBA, depicting the plants that might be growing around one of the many coastal ponds in the Pine Barrens of Southeastern Mass. As she has watched the town of Plymouth grow and spread, there too have the invasive plants that we may have previously planted or that have otherwise asserted themselves in our region. She marvels at the beauty around us, and she hopes to help reach out and get others to embrace our native habitats.

Pine Barrens Mural