Wurzel brings a variety of experience in non-profit management, land conservation and civic involvement to the Friends. He has served as Land Steward for the Lula Lake Land Trust on Lookout Mountain, overseeing trail building projects, leading volunteers and managing property. Prior to that, he served for two years as Conservation Director for the Southeastern Climbers Coalition Land Trust, managing conservation, strategic partnerships, fundraising, grant writing, membership development and communications.
The new executive director also coordinated environmental education, volunteer tree planting and Citizen Forester workshops for Chattanooga’s Department of Urban Forestry. An Eagle Scout, he worked for three summers as an environmental educator and conservationist in Cimarron, NM; as an instructor for the Boy Scouts of America Roving Outdoor Conservation School and Leave No Trace program; and did conservation worker at Philmont Scout Ranch and for the National Forest Service.
Wurzel is a summa cum laude graduate of The University of the South at Sewanee, TN, where his studies emphasized environmental policy. He earned a master’s degree in biological and environmental science at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He serves on the boards of the Cumberland Trail Conference and River Rocks Festival.
“We are extremely pleased to have Michael at the lead in our work with the National Park Service on developing outstanding visitor experiences and facilities on Moccasin Bend,” said Dan Saieed, president of the Friends of Moccasin Bend board of directors. “With a passion for the outdoors and for local history, and a strong foundation in environmental and land conservation, he brings outstanding skills and enthusiasm to our mission.”