Ventura Hillsides Conservancy Executive Director Melina Sempill Watts resigned, effective June 15, citing personal reasons. 


“I continue to support the Conservancy’s mission to acquire, preserve and restore open space for all the creatures which exist within our ecosystem, for our community and for future generations,” said Watts in an e-mail to conservancy members. “I really appreciate the generosity with which people in Ventura welcomed me into the community and hope to be able to continue to help achieve our goals as a continuing member of the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy. I know that this is the year that all of our dreams for the river and hillsides of Ventura are going to start coming true.”


“We will miss Melina’s energy, enthusiasm and passion for the resources,” said Tim Coonan, president of the conservancy’s board of trustees.


Watts was hired in January 2012, taking over the vacant part-time position after Matthew Sayles resigned in 2011. The past year has been a productive one for the conservancy, with the acquisition of new property, the removal of nonnative vegetation on its river properties and its leadership role in development of the Ventura River Parkway Project.