Letter from the Executive Director
When I first moved to Grand Rapids from Colorado to serve as the Land Conservancy of West Michigan’s development director in the fall of 2019, I quickly came to appreciate this region’s natural beauty. As a mother of two daughters, protecting our natural areas and ensuring they exist for future generations is of urgent importance to me—being surrounded by the incomparable beauty of West Michigan’s dunes, forests and rivers has only emphasized that sentiment.
In my new role as executive director, I spend a lot of time thinking about legacy. I contemplate the decisions and actions that have brought us to where we are now. I ask myself how I want to impact the Land Conservancy’s community, and strategize how our collective work will shape the world.
The Land Conservancy has spent the last 44 years protecting over 12,000 acres of natural land in West Michigan. This impressive legacy does not happen by accident. Rather, it is built by years of dedicated work and driven by vision. Conserving and restoring our forests, dunes and prairies has taken deliberate and consistent effort by our staff, volunteers and supporters. I look forward to leading these efforts into the future.
As I cast my thoughts to what is next in conservation, I envision a world where everyone has access to the healing powers of nature—where people are free to experience the outdoors without fear for their safety. I dream of a place where generations of humans, wildlife and plants can thrive together, even as we face the challenges of climate change.
I invite you to join us by imagining what kind of world you want to pass on to future generations. And I encourage you to stay connected. From volunteering, to contributing financially, to including the Land Conservancy in your estate plans, there is much you can do to protect the special landscapes we call home.
As COVID-19 restrictions ease, the staff and I look forward to bringing back Second Saturday workdays, and other opportunities to get out into nature together. Keep an eye on the website and social media for more information, and subscribe to our e-newsletters to stay in touch. I hope to see you all soon!
Kim Karn, Executive Director