Ecology North's Craig Scott stands in Yellowknife's pop-up park in July 2019. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
After six years, Ecology North is searching for someone new to take the helm of the environmental non-profit. Craig Scott is to leave the organization in June.
Scott, hired as the executive director in June 2014, wrote he was “saddened but excited” to announce his decision in the organization’s latest email newsletter, published on Wednesday evening.
“It’s been a pretty amazing six years I think, finishing a lot of projects that I’m really proud of,” he told Cabin Radio.
Among accomplishments Scott highlighted are creating northern backyard farming guides, northern infrastructure standardization, gardening programs in schools, and the pop-up park in downtown Yellowknife.
Most of all, Scott said, he will miss people.
“It’s an amazing community,” he said. “It’s quite a large group of people who really care about the environment in the NWT and in Yellowknife, and they’re very supportive. They’re a great group.”
Scott said he and his family had planned his departure from the role for a long time. He hopes to travel with his wife – once restrictions are lifted – and spend more time with his kids.
Scott expects to remain a part of the Ecology North community in some form. He and his family plan to stay in Yellowknife.
“I think the North is always full of amazing opportunities and I’m sure something will come up,” he said. “I’m always an optimistic person and I like to keep my options open.”
‘Be optimistic and creative’
Scott did note running a non-profit with limited resources has challenges, like maintaining staffing levels and getting adequate funding. But he said he thinks the future of Ecology North, which will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2021, is “bright.”
“We’ve got a great reputation, we’ve been doing really good work, and we’ve got great staff,” he said. “We’re going to continue to be a strong and vibrant organization in the NWT.”
His advice for the next executive director?
“Just maintain a really open mind and be optimistic and creative,” he said – adding his successor will realize they can’t do everything. “You have to really figure out what you want to accomplish and try to get there.”
Scott has been a part of Ecology North since he moved to Yellowknife in 2002, when he was nominated to the organization’s board of directors. Before then, he worked summers in the North at places like Plummer’s Great Bear Lake Lodge.
“I liked the community and decided to try to spend a winter,” he said. “That was 18 years ago… still here.”
Ecology North says Scott will continue in his role until June 19 to support a transition to the organization’s new leader.