NEW CANAAN — Longtime employee Bill Flynn has been named the New Canaan Nature Center’s new executive director.

Flynn came to the Nature Center in 2010 and served most recently as the director of animal care and environmental educator, but had become accustomed to taking on managerial roles within the departments of the organization in which he worked. Consequently, taking on the lead role at the Nature Center feels like a “natural progression” for Flynn.

“The transition has been good. Our Board of Directors is very active and supportive in our organization. They’ve been very instrumental in moving me into this new position and helping to make it a seamless transition,” Flynn said. He’ll fill a role that was, for more than a year, filled by an interim Executive Director.

Linda Andros, president of the Nature Center’s Board of Directors, called Flynn in a statement, “an accomplished naturalist with excellent communication and leadership skills.”

Flynn is a native Iowan and studied Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology and Pre-Medicine from the University of Colorado, Boulder, before living for a time in Ohio, where his wife and from, and Southern California prior to his time in New Canaan. Recently, Flynn was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association, (COEEA). He lives at the New Canaan Nature Center with his wife and son.

As for the future, Flynn said he hopes he can help the Nature Center become an increasingly more important and relied upon part of the town.

“Our vision is for the Nature Center to be a true asset to the town of New Canaan. We want the community to look at us as one of leaders on environmental education, awareness, and advocacy,” Flynn said. “We think a large portion of the town does that now, be we want to continue to grow and really make it a go-to for the town.”

Flynn also said he doesn’t plan to completely leave behind his more hands-on work with the animals and as an educator. He said he’ll continue that work in a diminished role.

“I’m very excited for the position. The nature center’s in a good place I’m excited to see where we can take it. Right now the sky's the limit,” Flynn said.

justin.papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1