Jenee joined our staff as a Land Protection Specialist in March 2023. She works on land protection projects on farmland and natural areas throughout Leelanau County. Her work includes adding to the land portfolio of the Conservancy’s natural areas and preserves, as well as helping other local municipalities add to their public parks. The bulk of Jenee’s time is working directly with private landowners to help turn their long-term wishes for their lands into permanently protected conservation easements.
Jenee has a long history with the Leelanau Conservancy: most recently, she ensured through annual monitoring that all of the terms of our conservation easements are upheld and the natural features are being protected. She served as our Stewardship Director from 2005 to 2015. Before that, Jenee worked for two years at Columbia University’s Biosphere 2 Center as an earth system science teaching assistant before returning to the Great Lakes bioregion to work with Inland Seas Education Association, NMC’s Water Studies Institute, Benzie Conservation District, and SEEDS. Jenee has a B.A. in Geology from Wisconsin’s Lawrence University and decades of field experience in the ecological communities of northern Michigan. She is also a textile artist, selling her plant dyed fiber pieces through her Breakwater Company. Jenee lives in the village of Suttons Bay with her husband and two sons. Together her family love to paddle, backpack, and racing to catch the glorious sunsets.