“Conservation Hero” Charity Steere received the Abby Mahan Gartland Stewardship Award at the Heart of the Lakes land conservation summit on May 19, 2016. The award honors Charity’s lifelong commitment to caring for the environment through hands-on service, being the longest-serving Trustee of Legacy Land Conservancy, and many other contributions.
Charity says, “I am pleased to accept this award given in honor of a young woman who was so loved and respected by her friends and colleagues in the land conservancy community. This year, the award acknowledges the cumulative effect of small efforts.”
And these everyday efforts do add up! Charity lives in the middle of the Waterloo Recreation Area and views every casual walk as an opportunity to pick up trash and remove invasive plants like garlic mustard. She volunteers to lead workdays for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Waterloo, improving local habitats by keeping invasive plants at bay. At Legacy, Charity serves as both the chair of the land protection committee and as a member of the stewardship committee. Her advice and support has led to many successful conservation projects over the years.
“She is the ‘go-to’ person, first in line for work days, visiting a potential new preserve, or any other task we place in front of her,” says Legacy’s Executive Director, Susan Lackey. “Charity would probably deny this, but she is also a darned good community organizer. Her efforts helped convince the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to adopt a farmland protection program.”
From a very early age, Charity learned that enjoying nature comes with the price of taking active care of it. The Abby Mahan Gartland Stewardship Award recognizes Charity’s contribution to the well-being of our environment.