Press Release May 22, 2023

Parks Group Welcomes New Northeast Director to Lead, Expand Work Across Region

"There is a national park for all of us and we'll do more to ensure people see themselves in the stories they represent.” -- NPCA's New Northeast Regional Director Kristen Sykes

Holyoke, MA – The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today announces new leadership for the Northeast with the appointment of Kristen Sykes as Northeast regional director. For decades, NPCA has prioritized park protection work in the Northeast, successfully leading campaigns to create the first national park site dedicated to LGBTQ history with Stonewall National Monument in New York City and preserving one of the last large landscapes in the Northeast with the addition of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine. With a robust presence in New York City, NPCA has been instrumental in securing significant funding for our urban national parks and improving access to better connect younger, more diverse communities to green space nearby at places like Gateway and along the Appalachian Trail.

NERO Kristen

Kristen Sykes

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In her new role, Kristen will lead the strategic direction for NPCA’s work throughout the Northeast focusing our efforts in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. She will oversee the implementation of campaigns that aim to protect and enhance park resources while improving access and overall visitor experiences at our parks. As part of this work, she will grow our diverse community of national park advocates to advance just, equitable, and inclusive policies including sharing more untold stories in and around our parks, and for the communities surrounding them.

“We’re so pleased to have someone grounded in New England to lead our regional park protection work,” said John Adornato, deputy vice president for regional programs. “From helping parks like Cape Cod be more resilient to climate change, supporting efforts that make the rugged terrain of Acadia more accessible, to sharing more of our American history and struggles for equal rights at places like Women’s Rights National Historic Park, our Northeast parks have so much to offer the millions of people that visit and live near them. And Kristen’s expertise and passions, and especially so close to home, make her well-suited to take on these challenges and lead and grow our efforts throughout the region.”

With more than 20 years of experience working in conservation, Kristen came to NPCA most recently from the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) where she was the Director of Southern Northeast Conservation Projects and Partnerships. She joined AMC in 2004 and worked extensively to advance land conservation, trails, and recreational access throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Before joining AMC, Kristen was the Interior Department Watchdog for Friends of the Earth and the Eastern Forest Advocate for the American Lands Alliance in Washington, D.C.

“I am excited to support our amazing national parks, monuments and landmarks in the Northeast and to make them more accessible to everyone,” said Kristen Sykes, Northeast regional director. “Building on NPCA’s successful campaigns, I look forward to expanding our presence throughout the region and connecting more people to parks that they may not know. My own life-changing national park experiences are proof there is a park for all of us, and we’ll do more to ensure people see themselves in the stories they represent.”

Kristen is based in Holyoke, Massachusetts where in her free time she enjoys biking, hiking, paddling, cross-country skiing and traveling to our national parks. You can follow her and NPCA’s work throughout the Northeast at


About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit