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Lynn Hamlen To Retire As Head Of Darien Nature Center

Lynn Hamlen will be retiring in May after 20 years as executive director of the Darien Nature Center.
Lynn Hamlen will be retiring in May after 20 years as executive director of the Darien Nature Center. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Darien Nature Center

DARIEN, Conn. - Lynn Hamlen will retire as executive director of the Darien Nature Center in May after serving in the position for the past 20 years.

Hamlen will be retiring May 3. She joined the Darien Nature Center in 1993 after serving five years as the chairman of the Darien Board of Education.

"As I looked to my next challenge, it was a gift to find this wonderful place dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of preserving our environment," she said.

The Darien Nature Center began as a summer program in 1979 at the Darien Community Association. It then moved to a permanent location in Cherry Lawn Park in 1988.

"Starting in the old cinder-block dormitory in 1993, with a few animals, a mimeograph machine and a staff of two, the creative process of building programs, exhibits, awareness and a new facility has been most gratifying," she said.

Since Hamlen joined the Nature Center, it has grown and added programs. It launched a capital campaign to raise funds and build a new facility, which opened in 2002. It now houses several live animals, including ferrets , hedgehogs, birds, rabbits, snakes, turtles, iguanas, prairie dogs and owls. A few years ago, it launched an animal rehabilitation center. This past winter, it began hosting an indoor farmers market every Wednesday. It is also host to numerous education programs, events and art exhibits.

"Lynn has been a strong champion within our community and region. Her leadership over the past 20 years has been invaluable. She has managed the Nature Center through significant changes and growth over a period of two decades," said Bill Orr, president of the Nature Center.

The Board of Directors has started to search for a new executive director. For further information or to submit an application, contact the search committee at dncdirectorsearch@gmail.com .

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