Who We Are


Bill Toomey

Bill is currently the Director of Forest Health Protection working as part of the Nature Conservancy’s North American Forest Priority and the Conservancy’s Urban Conservation Strategies Initiative.  Bill also co-leads the Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Tree campaign.  Most recently, Bill served as the Executive Director of the Highstead Foundation, a conservation non-profit based in Connecticut, which advanced forest conservation work throughout New England.  Prior to that he worked for The Nature Conservancy for 10 years in the Connecticut and Massachusetts Chapters where he held positions as stewardship ecologist, landscape project director, and major gift fundraiser.  He has also worked for the City of San Jose, California where he managed the residential recycling and composting program.  Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Fairfield University and a master’s degree in Soil Science and Ecology from North Carolina State University.  Bill is also an ISA certified Arborist and is a member of the CT Urban Forest Council and the National Invasive Species Advisory Council.

Rachel HolmesRachel Holmes

Rachel is currently a Conservation Coordinator for the Forest Health Program of The Nature Conservancy. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy in 2013, she worked for Groundwork Bridgeport, a non-profit based in Connecticut dedicated to improving the lives of residents through community-based landscape restoration. She also served as an urban forester for the State of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection where she co-developed a local wood products policy and promotional campaign. Rachel received her bachelor’s degree from Cook College, the agricultural school of Rutgers University and master's degrees in both Divinity and Forestry from Yale University. In her personal time, Rachel is a Flamenco dancer and wildland firefighter.