Board and Staff


Andrew Garte, Executive Director (2016-)

Andrew Garte

Leonardtown, MD (July 19, 2016) – The Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust (PTLT) has employed Andrew Garte as Executive Director. Garte’s background as an environmental scientist and advocate will serve PTLT well as he liaisons with government and the public to preserve farm, forest, and open space land in the Patuxent River watershed.

“Andy has a real passion for land preservation that is evident in his work as president of the Scenic Rivers Land Trust in Annapolis,” commented Frank Allen, PTLT president “He saw Scenic Rivers through the transition from an all-volunteer organization to one with paid staff and a good reputation in the state. He has experience obtaining easements and running a business in the environmental field.”

Garte holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and is a writer and speaker on environmental issues who has led the startup and operation of two environmental service companies. His education, work as a fisherman, and over 25 years of practice working with government agencies, land owners, and facility operators will allow him to identify the factors and interactions key to advancing the work of the Land Trust.

PTLT’s mission is to sustain the region’s biodiversity and water resources through a network of protected landscapes. The organization recognizes that forest and farmland and the region’s unique historic and scenic character are vital to a healthy economy and citizens’ sense of well-being. PTLT acquires land and conservation easements by purchase or donation. The Trust has conserved over 5,000 acres of land in perpetuity, keeping it as farm and forest to meet today’s needs and those of future generations.

Annabelle Harvey, Programs Staff (2017-)

Annabelle recently graduated from Salisbury University with a BA in Environmental Studies and BS in Biology and is interested in preserving the rural and scenic Southern Maryland she grew up in for 20 years. With experience in promoting nonprofit missions and working with the public on environmental issues, Annabelle hopes to play a part in expanding the success of PTLT!
The Board, staff, and Friends of PTLT are already finding Annabelle an efficient, hardworking and pleasant addition to our Land Trust team.  We are so pleased she has joined us.  Since she grew up in the area, she has a commitment to making our community better, for now and the future.  Introduce yourself to Annabelle at the PTLT office, where you find her working Mon.-Thurs. 8-3:30 PM.   Contact: Annabelle Harvey

Board of Directors

The Land Trust is overseen by an all volunteer Board of Directors. A minimum of three and a maximum of fifteen trustees are elected to form the Board. The President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary serve as officers.

The Land Trust solicits Board members with expertise useful to its activities and with an interest in its objectives.

Contact PTLT:

Current board members:

Frank Allen, President


Bob Prine, Treasurer


Sarah Houde (2015-)


Diep Nguyen-Van Houtte (2017- )


Brenda Songy, Vice-President (2018-); Recording Secretary (2015-2018)



Robert Willey, Monitoring Coordinator (2017- )

Phil Hayward (2017- ), Chair of Outreach Committee

David Moulton (2017- )

Fabio Galli (2017-  )

Advisory Board Members:

Dick Wildes, Advisory Board PTLT

Summerseat Farm and Sanctuary


Dr. Tracy Harris, Advisory Board, V.P. College of S. Md, Dean of Leonardtown Campus

Dr. Maggie O’Brian, Advisory Board

Slackwater Winery

Anne Sundermann, Advisory Board PTLT (2017- )

Fred Tutman, Advisory Board PTLT (2017-), Patuxent Riverkeeper


Welcome Aboard PTLT’s New Volunteer Coordinator!

Paula Keeton has graciously accepted the volunteer position of Volunteer Coordinator for PTLT.  Please welcome her aboard.

Paula and her husband have returned to help her 90+ year old mom run the family farm here in St. Mary’s County.  Clearly Paula cares about keeping St. Mary’s County beautiful…the way she remembers it, and the way her mom cares about it also!

She will be asking all current volunteers to give a record of the hours volunteered for 2016 accounting purposes.  If you are eager to contribute to your/our community by helping to save open space in southern Maryland, please contact Paula,, and tell her what YOU would like to help with.  We aim to find volunteer positions that suit your interests.

Paula Keeton, PTLT Volunteer Coordinator


Events Coordinator

Will work with staff, board members, and volunteers to plan and execute fundraising and special events and monitor progress of event success.  Great for people who don’t like static job assignments.  Offers challenges to people who want to do more in life and who like to shine.

Grant Writer(s)

New to grant writing?  Want to try your hand at it?  Our board members and staff are there and willing to guide you, if you have the desire to learn.  (Seasoned pros always welcome too!)

Financial Assistant

Assist our super knowledgeable treasurer with all the ins and outs of a Land Trust 501(C)(3) organization.  Great for retired professionals wanting to keep using their skills for useful purposes, or for someone wanting to acquire more skills.

Outdoor Opportunities

Need new ways to experience the outdoors? Join PTLT’s outdoor activities to get outside and get moving!

Weed Warriors: PTLT has a group that meets the first Saturday morning of every winter month at Myrtle Point Park from 9:00 AM- 12:00 to remove invasive vines from the trees. Help save trees  and create a healthy forest! By cutting the vines and removing invasive plants, the native plants no longer have to compete for sun, space or nutrients restoring a healthy woodland for years to come! Bring: clippers, hand saw, etc. (gloves and eye protection are strongly recommended). Your children welcome! Playing outside has been proven to make children less stressed and healthier! Drop-ins welcome also. (No reservation required.)

Trails: PTLT is working to improve the number and accessibility of biking and pedestrian trails throughout Southern Maryland. Interested in helping create and maintain hiking trails? Have an interest in advocating for creation of new trails? Let us know! We also have a Trails Group newsletter that will keep you up to date on biking, hiking, walking and water trails and events. You can sign up here

Monitoring: At the heart of what a land trust does, monitoring ensures that our land stays protected. Hike one of our beautiful properties, record what you see, take some pictures and report back to PTLT. We usually have 2-4 people go out together, so this is a great activity for families or friends to do together. This opportunity does require a little training prior to going out to monitor. 

Board Members—They are volunteers too!

PTLT board members come from a variety of backgrounds, bring a well-rounded skill set and work hard to preserve land in Southern Maryland. Interested in getting involved? Contact us!

Events and Outreach Opportunities

If you love meeting new people or connecting with the community, PTLT needs your help in events and outreach!

Social Media Assistant:  Love Twitter, Instagram, or other social media? Help PTLT start and manage social media accounts in order to connect with the community! We would like to develop a strong following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Help find and post content, promote our mission and collect followers. You would work with our staff member, Annabelle Harvey, in order to develop a stronger social media presence for PTLT.

Attend Events for PTLT: PTLT attends events throughout Southern Maryland that relate to our mission! If you are interested in joining us, assisting running our table, helping hand out information or just want to come check out the event, feel free to contact us!

Office Opportunities

Perfect for those who want to help save Southern Maryland but who are not up for hiking out in the field!

Filing and Office Assistant: Assist Conservation Coordinator and Office Manager in scanning, organizing, and filing organization documents. This is a great educational opportunity to work with our wonderful staff member, Annabelle, to help in the details of land trust work. No prior skills required; just a willingness to help.

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