Swaner names a new chief | ParkRecord.com

Swaner names a new chief

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter has named a Utah State University employee as its executive director.

Jon Paulding, who has experience managing non-profit organizations and is currently the development director for the USU College of Natural Resources, will begin his position at Swaner on March 15.

Paulding replaces Annette Herman Harder as executive director at the preserve. Harder is leaving Swaner to become chief operating officer for university advancement at USU.

"Reorganizing university resources this way best meets the needs of Swaner," Harder said in a prepared statement.

Last year, the Swaner board of directors bequeathed a state-of-the-art education center and land worth more than $30 million to Utah State University.

"We’re really looking to beef up programming and get the public involved with that," Paulding said in a telephone interview Thursday.

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Last year’s arrangement transferred ownership of the 1,200-acre nature preserve at Kimball Junction to USU.

"[Swaner’s] mission is to bring its research and its teaching capabilities to the ground in the communities of Utah," Paulding said. "This new partnership absolutely epitomizes that whole model."

The Park Record asked Paulding what attracted him to the job. Paulding has knowledge in fundraising and program development.

"I’ve done a lot of fundraising for projects in the state that our faculty do that have to do with improving wildlife habitat, stream restoration and climate-change issues," Paulding said. "We’re just looking to really partner with the community to build relationships with the other nonprofits and the other environmental groups, and to showcase the role of sound science in conservation and land management."

Through Swaner USU officials aim to recruit more students from Summit County.

"We’re going to be starting a summer camp for youth this summer at the Swaner preserve," Paulding said.

USU President Stan Albrecht said Paulding will help the university accomplish its goals related to the preserve.

"[Paulding’s] experience with directing nonprofit organizations coupled with his close tie to the College of Natural Resources and his passion for conservation makes him a perfect fit," Albrecht said in a prepared statement.

Paulding spent about five years in his current position.

"I think I can really facilitate getting our faculty involved here in the Park City community," he said. "Part of my role will be to work with the community to develop corporate sponsorship and individual giving, to write grants for foundations and generally to bring in money to support all of these new programs that we want to launch."