It is amazing what a group of smart, dedicated people can accomplish. I am so happy with PPLT and its good work building lasting legacies since 2001. PPLT will continue to thrive because of its board and volunteers who show up, learn the complexities of land trust work and make wise decisions to protect open space for the future.
— Joan Russell, previous Board Vice-President


Our Board meets every quarter, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Board members volunteer their time and resources to support and advance PPLT’s mission. If you are interested in serving on our Board, please consider attending a board meeting or two and review our Board Member Application.

Who we are

The mission to continue into perpetuity may sound tough to some. For our board members, it is a mission that is taken to heart and moved toward daily. This small but mighty team has come together to serve our community with dedication and knowledge. Read more about them below:


Maria Alonso, Travis County.  Maria's expertise includes sustainable resources, recycling, green building and water conservation.  Maria is expert in social media, volunteer coordination and web design. She works for the City of Austin. Her family of three live in Austin but claim the world as their home.  BA, Geography, University of Texas.


Luci Cook, Bastrop County. Luci brings with her experience in aquatic biology, education, grant management and outreach. She and her husband own a small business, Stregare Cheesecake Company. Luci also works as an educator for McKinney Roughs LCRA Park. She also serves on the Mississippi River Basin Panel, holding a co-chair position on the Panel and chair of the education/outreach committee. Luci previously worked at TPWD as an expert on aquatic invasives. MS, Aquatic Biology, Texas State University.


Wilynn Formeller, Travis County. Wilynn is a Native Texan and grew up on a cattle ranch in Bandera. Although she currently resides in Colorado, she previously lived in Travis County and worked for PPLT as a part-time contractor, sharing her expertise in wildlife and land management, event planning, social media and marketing. Wilynn currently works as a freelance digital marketer and sits on two other boards, in between "managing" her three boys with her husband. MS, Wildlife Biology, Texas State University.

Board member

Jaison Lee, Travis County.  Jaison is a recent transplant from Youngstown, Ohio who earned his BFA in fine art photography and design and minored in business management and art history.  His professional journey placed him within GIS technician roles within multiple energy companies, ultimately landing in Austin, Texas.   His analytical, research, and cartographic skills earned him an opportunity with Austin Energy where he currently works.  He is passionate about health and wellness and is a former personal and group trainer that has created wellness initiatives, extracurricular to his full time roles, to enrich corporate culture.  In the communities in which he’s resided, he seeks volunteerism opportunities.  He has coordinated charity events, publicly counseled for tax and health benefits, managed a community garden where which he directed community meals, with experience in outreach, fundraising and coordination all during his year’s service term with AmeriCorps. B.F.A.  Photography and Design, Youngstown State University.


Executive Director

Melanie Pavlas, Caldwell County.  Melanie is a Caldwell County landowner and has extensive experience in environmental biology and wildlife conservation, including bird surveys, endangered species permitting, monitoring and conservation, wildlife management and land management. Melanie has an extensive background in technical and regulatory guidance with regard to project impacts on wildlife and protected resources and how to mitigate those impacts. BS, Environmental Biology, University of Houston at Clear Lake.

Director of Development

Nikki Krueger, Caldwell and Travis Counties. Nikki is a development consultant and business owner with over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, project management, technology implementation, leadership development, and nonprofit and corporate community relations. She has the joy of overseeing all development and marketing services for Pines and Prairies Land Trust.  Her personal mission of facilitating, encouraging, and supporting people in maximizing their skills and power to make a difference in the world can be seen in everything she does. Nikki uses her unique blend of business knowledge along with a deep behavioral understanding to maximize the power of volunteerism and corporate engagement. Nikki is also founder and owner of Seeking Good Fortune, LLC. Here she customizes team building activities and service projects designed to give back to local nonprofits in Central Texas. Giving back to the community is in her blood. In addition to her work at Pines and Prairies Land Trust and Seeking Good Fortune, she also volunteers with Foundation Communities. B.B.A., Management, Texas State University.

stewardship and volunteer manager

Courtney Young, Travis County. Courtney is a lifelong student and teacher of eco-systems and human-systems. Her passions include traveling, working with people, sharing the wonder of the outdoors, and details. She does a little bit of everything at Pines and Prairies including creating and growing the volunteer program, preserve stewardship, nature class organization, and teaching.  Courtney is also involved in land conservation in Travis County with the Wilbarger Creek Conservation Alliance. She received a degree in Environmental Students, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder, studied Sustainable Development in Stellenbosch South Africa, and was schooled in the human experience in India.