Celebrating Women’s History Month: Linny Levin

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Linny Levin

March is Women’s History Month — and at UVLT, that means it’s time to recognize the many women in conservation who have helped preserve and share the wild spaces in our community. 

This week, we’re highlighting Linny Levin, a remarkable teacher and naturalist who introduced countless Upper Valley children to the magic of the outdoors — and who we remember through the Linny Levin Trail in Thetford’s Zebedee Wetland

Linny arrived in the Upper Valley in 1977, quickly becoming a beloved community member known for her irrepressible spirit, joy, and sense of humor. She spent more than 18 years in the education department of the Montshire Museum, where she created programs, trips, and camps for children and adults alike, curated natural history exhibits, and developed and maintained trails. She also taught in Windsor and Fairlee public schools, managed the ValleyQuest program for Vital Communities, and assisted with outdoor programs for UVLT. 

The throughline that connected Linny’s work was her deep love of nature and passion for sharing it with others. Through her eyes, Linny’s students, family, and friends learned to see the intricacy and diversity of the world around them. To Linny, who developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the Upper Valley’s flora and fauna, even the most mundane plant, insect, or frog had a story to tell — and that enthusiasm was contagious. 

Sadly, Linny passed away in 2000 after a three-year battle with breast cancer. Today, her spirit lives on in the countless Upper Valley children and adults she inspired to get outside for quiet contemplation or vigorous adventure, no matter the weather. 

Linny’s friends and family knew that an educational trail was the most fitting memorial to this one-of-a-kind naturalist and educator, and worked with the Thetford Conservation Commission to fund one. When the UVLT purchased Zebedee Wetland in 2010 — a place full of wetland and bird life that Linny had loved to visit with her children — they knew it was the perfect location.

In 2012, supporters and friends gathered to open the 0.75 mile Linny Levin Trail encircling the wetland. Today, it’s a frequent destination for Thetford elementary school classes. With trail signs featuring children’s art and benches in several locations to stop and listen to frogs and birds or watch beavers at work, the trail helps Upper Valley residents connect with nature just like its namesake did for so many years. 

This spring, UVLT will replace bridges and treads on the Linny Levin Trail. Sign up to learn about upcoming workdays and/or consider making a gift for trail materials here.