Viles Arboretum Announces Leadership Transition

Viles Arboretum, a renowned hub for outdoor recreation and learning in Augusta, today announces a significant change in its executive leadership. Ryan Martin, who has served as the Executive Director since June 2020, will step down from his position effective January 1. Aleta McKeage, an environmental scientist with a history of collaboration with the Arboretum, will take over as the Interim Executive Director. 

Ryan Martin photo by Bethany DrouinReflecting on his tenure, Ryan Martin expressed pride in his achievements and the growth of the organization. “Leading Viles Arboretum through a period of significant development and change has been a fulfilling journey. We've not only navigated challenging times but also achieved notable advancements in our mission to educate and inspire. I'm confident that the foundation we've built will enable the Arboretum to flourish in its next chapter," said Martin. 

During Martin's tenure, the Arboretum experienced rapid, transformative growth. Notably, with support from a small, but vibrant Board of Directors, the organization successfully navigated through the pandemic, added several new positions, and saw the construction of its new Education Center and scenic wetland boardwalk. These developments, along with dozens of new programs and initiatives, have played a crucial role in doubling the organization's size and impact. 

Aleta_McKeage_photo_by_Lee_Arnott_Sweet_Thunder_Productions.jpgAleta McKeage, set to be the Interim Executive Director, has previously contributed significantly to the Arboretum's 'Forest of the Future' initiative. Her extensive background in environmental science positions her well to lead the organization in this transition. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Aleta as she steps into this role,” said Tracy Weber, Board President of Viles Arboretum. “Her technical expertise, decades of experience and work with the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District align perfectly with our mission. This transition also provides us the time needed to conduct a comprehensive search for a permanent Executive Director.” 

Ryan Martin will provide support during this transition to ensure continuity and the sustained success of the organization’s initiatives. 

With a new chapter unfolding under Aleta McKeage's interim leadership, Viles Arboretum continues its commitment to educating, celebrating, and conserving Maine's diverse natural landscapes. 

For more information about Viles Arboretum and its programs, please visit Individuals interested in our search for a permanent Executive Director may inquire at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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