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February 15th, 2022
Each month, we introduce you to a member of the Upstate Forever staff through a few rapid fire questions. This month, get to know Land Conservation Manager Caitlyn Gendusa.
What do you enjoy most about working for Upstate Forever?
I enjoy being able to meet landowners and getting to visit some amazing properties. A few of my favorites I've visited are a vineyard, 6th generation family farm, and a homestead where the landowners rely almost entirely on growing their own food to feed their family.
What has been the most unexpected part of your role?
The most unexpected part of my role is just how much I get to know landowners in the Upstate. Some easement projects can span multiple years so I really get to know a landowner well during that time. That makes it a little hard to "let go" of the project after closing but luckily we have such a great stewardship team that takes good care of our easements and landowners.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
As I am sure most all staff members at Upstate Forever can relate, hiking is one of my favorite activities. The Upstate has some beautiful trails but I have also enjoyed hiking abroad such as the Laugavegur trail in Iceland. I would love to try the Foothills Trail at some point. I also enjoy gardening and making nature collages.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Initially I wanted to be a teacher. Then when I got a little older I was set on being a farmer when I grew up. I learned quickly that farming is no easy task. Now, I get to look at other people's farms and hopefully help them protect their farm. It is a pretty good tradeoff. Also, sometimes when I visit farms on stewardship visits I get to walk home with grassfed local meat or veggies. You can't beat that.
More about Caitlyn
Caitlyn Gendusa joined Upstate Forever in January 2019. She received her B.S. in Agriscience & Environmental Systems from the University of Georgia and holds a Certificate in Sustainability. She is excited to bring her experience working closely with farmers and community members to implement sustainable land management practices to her role at Upstate Forever.
In her free time, she enjoys backpacking in the southeast and abroad, as well as exploring new hiking trails and working on art projects. Caitlyn is excited to grow Upstate Forever's mission in protecting the sacred land of the Upstate.