Over the last two years Legacy has acquired six new conservation easements and another public nature preserve—land that will be protected, forever—and brings our total acres of protected land to almost 10,000!
These acquisitions mean we are now responsible for monitoring 105 easements as well as managing 8 preserves to ensure conservation values are maintained. Through the hard work of our Legacy Stewardship Program staff and volunteers, we actively monitor over 6000 acres of private property under conservation easement and manage over 300 acres of publicly accessible preserve properties.
It truly is a year-round collaborative effort and we are excited to welcome Alice and Shawn to the Legacy team!
Despite the current COVID-19 “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order that has Legacy staff working from home or in a limited capacity in the field, we’re gearing up to hit the ground running as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Alice Elliott, Easement Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator
Alice grew up in southeast Michigan and received her M.S. from the University of Michigan, where she worked with a team to assess the potential for an inter-agency collaborative in New England. Since graduating, she worked out of our office as the Stiltgrass Coordinator for the Stiltgrass Working Group, a collaborative of local organizations that included Legacy Land Conservancy. She has now joined Legacy as the Easement Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator, monitoring conservation easement properties across our service area and coordinating stewardship volunteers. Alice is passionate about conservation not only as protection, but as collaboration between stakeholders. In her spare time, she works as a community activist, participating in activism around a variety of social and environmental issues. She can be found sitting in trees, staring at birds, or picking up rocks to find interesting things underneath.
Shawn Zellers, Stewardship Crew Leader
Shawn Zellers has been working in land management, conservation and agriculture for over 20 years. Growing up fishing and hunting the Illinois River valley, Shawn developed a strong connection with the land including its historical and cultural uses, and also began to understand the widespread loss of habitat and biodiversity. Shawn has worked for land conservancies and in the private sector in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, and Michigan. He has led school groups, camps, and volunteers in education and the practice of stewardship, ecological restoration, and sustainable agriculture. “To interact with and understand the living systems around us is part of what it is to be human and living on the planet. We are not apart from it. For me, it is a constant source of intrigue and wonder.” When Shawn is not working, he is often wood carving, fishing, or wandering somewhere outside with his son Cole.