Jo Anne Gerben
For a number of years prior to making our permanent residence in Leelanau, my family and I spent many happy hours walking Conservancy properties as we vacationed here. When I retired from my position as a school administrator, I knew I wanted to become more involved with the Conservancy, and the teaching and learning that I loved when I took part in the docent led hikes seemed the perfect match for me. Having finished the extensive docent training last year, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about the connection between our beautiful landscape and the culture that has made Leelanau County such a special place. Where else can you see such beautiful lakes and so many varieties of trees, wildflowers, birds and wildlife amidst gorgeous orchards, vineyards and farms? Every time I get to lead people on hikes through our amazing trails and share with them the heritage of these great properties, I can’t believe how much I also learn from the participants. It is truly a rewarding experience that makes me very happy and proud to be a Leelanau Conservancy Docent.