- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Names Director of Massachusetts Office of Outdoor Recreation
Danielle Burney, Deputy Communications Director
BOSTON — Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper today announced the appointment of Paul Jahnige as the first Director of the Massachusetts Office of Outdoor Recreation (MOOR). The EEA established the Office in December 2022 to elevate and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities throughout Massachusetts and the associated benefits to our economy, health, environment, and quality of life. Jahnige will work alongside state agencies, including the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Massachusetts Marketing Partnership (MMP), and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT). He starts on September 25th.
“Massachusetts has exceptional beaches, trails, and parks, and it’s critical they’re accessible and available to all residents. Paul Jahnige will be instrumental in advancing transformative outdoor recreational opportunities across the state, with a focus on equity,” said EEA Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “His experience demonstrates his commitment to merging recreation with stewardship and conservation, which will shape our environmental landscape for generations.”
“I’m honored and excited to step into this new role as the Healey-Driscoll Administration continues to take meaningful action in preserving and protecting our natural resources for all residents to enjoy all year long,” added Jahnige. “Outdoor recreation is not only critical for our physical, mental, and social health but also for Massachusetts’ economic health. I look forward to working alongside other state agencies, private and non-profit partners to get people outside to play in Massachusetts.”
About Paul Jahnige
Paul Jahnige comes from the DCR, where he recently served as the Greenways and Trails Program Director. He has twenty-five years of experience working in environmental restoration and community development. Following a Masters in Environmental Studies from Yale and overseas work in Ecuador and Kenya, Paul founded Community Resources, an urban environmental non-profit that develops programs in minority, low-income communities across cities in the Mid-Atlantic. He is an outdoorsman and youth coach who lives in Williamsburg with his wife and three children.
Statements of Support
Natalie Blais, Massachusetts State Representative (D-Sunderland)
“Outdoor recreation builds awareness about the environment around us, strengthens local economies, and improves health outcomes. Paul has dedicated his career to enhancing and expanding outdoor recreational activities for the residents of Massachusetts and is uniquely qualified to advance the goals of this new office. The Healey Administration could not have made a better choice for the Commonwealth’s very first Director of Outdoor Recreation and I look forward to working with Paul in this exciting new endeavor.”
Jennifer Ryan, Deputy Director of Advocacy, Charles River Watershed Association
“The importance of outdoor recreation cannot be overstated––thriving parks, forests, and rivers create healthier communities, sustain local economies, protect our natural and cultural resources, bolster climate resilience, and foster deep care and concern for our shared environment. Bringing a strong background in greenways and trails, urban forestry, and community organizations, we applaud the Healey-Driscoll Administration's appointment of Paul Jahnige as the first Director of the newly created Office of Outdoor Recreation, and we look forward to working with him to improve public access and community connections to the Charles River and ensure its flourishing for generations to come.”
Heather Clish, VP of Conservation and Recreation Advocacy, Appalachian Mountain Club
“AMC applauds the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs in launching the Office of Outdoor Recreation with the appointment of Paul Jahnige as the Commonwealth’s first Outdoor Recreation Director. With his experience in advancing and improving outdoor recreation that supports people’s health, builds community, and bolsters local economies, Mr. Jahnige’s appointment is a strong step toward realizing the vision for equitable opportunities to enjoy nature across Massachusetts.”