AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Trail Conservancy, an Austin nonprofit dedicated to the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, announced Thursday its CEO, Heidi Anderson, will step down at the end of the year after serving in the position for seven years.

Hanna Cofer, TTC’s current COO, will serve as interim CEO while TTC’s Board of Directors conducts a comprehensive national search to identify the next leader to steer the organization forward. The position will be officially posted on the TTC website in the coming months.

“Heidi’s remarkable leadership not only shaped the present state of The Trail Conservancy but also laid a strong foundation for its future,” said Andy Austin, Board Chair, in the release. “Her dedication to enhancing the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail has been nothing short of inspirational. While we will miss her greatly, we are excited for the next chapter and remain committed to preserving this treasured community asset.” 

The announcement said that Anderson helped “achieve important milestones and implemented extensive capital projects and the inception of a vast ecological restoration initiative.” It also said Anderson was behind a newly adopted Arts and Culture Plan that has helped elevate the TTC’s role as a converancy for the hike and bike trail.

Last year under Anderson’s stewardship, TTC entered into a Park Operations and Maintenance agreement with the City of Austin, according to the announcement.

“This significant development marked a new chapter in TTC’s history, solidifying its commitment to the community and resulting in a name change from The Trail Foundation to The Trail Conservancy,” the announcement said.  

“When I joined The Trail Conservancy, the organization was poised to grow to a new level.  We were a small and scrappy group doing important work to improve the Trail, but the need was great and growing, and we were struggling to keep up. Now, as a formal partner with the city, we can better serve this iconic space and ensure it is sustainable as Austin continues to grow,” Anderson said in the release. “As I reflect on my time with The Trail Conservancy, I am filled with immense gratitude for the unwavering support of our board, staff, volunteers, donors, and partners. Together, we have fostered a strong sense of community and connection to nature. While my chapter with TTC is coming to a close, I am excited to see how the organization will continue to flourish, making a lasting impact on both the Trail and the Austin community.” 

Anderson added, “Serving The Trail Conservancy has been an extraordinary honor. I am proud of the solid foundation we built and the strong working relationship we have with the City of Austin and the Parks Department, and I am confident that the team will continue to make great strides in preserving and enhancing this beloved space.” 

Other milestones achieved under Anderson’s leadership, according to TTC, include: 

  • Developed a Strategic Plan that quadrupled the organization’s budget and staffing model. 
  • Developed a strategy for identifying and prioritizing park needs, resulting in an evolving menu of improvements. 
  • Negotiated a 25 year agreement with the City establishing TTC as the primary steward of Town Lake Metropolitan Park on which the Trail sits. 
  • Rebranded the organization to The Trail Conservancy. 
  • Established the Corgan Canopy Fund to allow TTC to increase its capacity for capital improvements. 
  • Completed a capital campaign to provide a permanent home office for the organization. 
  • Completed capital campaigns for multiple projects, including the Rainey Street Trailhead, Holly Project, Butler Shores, and others. 
  • Launched a capital campaign for the Seaholm Waterfront.