Conserving mid-Michigan's natural, scenic, recreational and agricultural lands


 Board of Directors

  • Paul Kindel, President
    East Lansing, MI
    Phone: 517-332-3091
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Kenneth Rosenman, Vice President
    Okemos, MI
  • Stephen Buzby, Treasurer
    Okemos, MI
  • Doug Pearsall, Secretary
    East Lansing, MI
  • Eckhart Dersch
    Okemos, MI
  • James Hewitt
    Okemos, MI
  • Louis Schiavone III
    Lansing, MI
  • Hailey TenHarmsel
    Portland, MI

Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy is a charitable, non-profit land protection organization registered with the State of Michigan and the Internal Revenue Service and is covered by Section 501(c) of the federal tax code. Is is operated by a board of directors consisting of local residents, and it has a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. All are volunteers.

MMLC works with land-owners and conservation partners to permanently protect natural land and farmland in mid-Michigan. Is is qualified to receive tax-deductable donations of conservation easements on land and gifts of land. MMLC works in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Ionia, Shiawassee, Hillsdale and Jackson counties. Is is funded by donations from members and others, with occasional funding from grants.

MMLC originated from a local conservation organization, The Natural Areas Association, founded in 1979 by residents in the Lansing area. In 2002, at the request of members, supporters and residents in mid-Michigan, the mission of The Natural Areas Association was changed to that of a land conservancy and in 2003 the name was changed to the Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy.

Our History

Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy originated from The Natural Areas Association. The Natural Areas Association was founded in 1979 by residents of Meridian Township, Ingham County, Michigan and was based in Meridian Township. Its area of coverage was the greater Lansing area. In 2002 the mission of The Natural Areas Association was changed to that of a land conservancy and the name was changed to The Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy. Its area of coverage was expanded to seven counties in mid-Michigan. In 2003 the name was changed to Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy and its mission was restated.

Board Members Bios

Stephen L. Buzby

Steve is a retired Michigan State University Professor of Accounting and a former CPA.  In retirement he has been a licensed builder who has helped build home for Habitat for Humanity. 

Eckert Dersch

Eck joined the Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy Board of Directors at its inception. He is currently the steward of the Conservancy’s largest property, the 130 acre Bunker Nature Preserve, monitors three of the Conservancy’s conservation easement properties, and serves as our representative on the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) program committee.

His professional career encompassed several aspects of land and water management. After earning a PhD in Natural Resources Management from Cornell University he served on the faculty at Michigan State University for 35 years, with responsibilities in teaching, research, and outreach, focused largely on watershed management. In addition, he served as president of the Michigan chapters of the American Water Resources Association and the Soil and Water Conservation Society. At the community level he was an elected Meridian Township Park Commissioner for 35 years where, among other things, he served as chair for several years and initiated the formation of the Harris Nature Center Foundation. He also helped draft the Township’s wetland protection ordinance and the land preservation ordinance, subsequently serving on both resulting boards. For several years he also served on Meridian Township’s Environmental Commission during its formative years. 

Paul K. Kindel

Paul is a Professor Emeritus, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University. He is President of the Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy and Chair of the Ingham County Farmland and Open Space Preservation Board, a county land conservancy. His interests are land and water conservation, restoration of natural habitats, wilderness, hiking, and gardening.

Doug Pearsall 

Doug is a Senior Conservation Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, where for over 20 years he has led conservation planning efforts for the Great Lakes and in Michigan. He leads the Science Team for TNC in Michigan and builds research partnerships to answer key questions related to conserving nature. He and his wife Nancy live in East Lansing and enjoy walking, biking, and hiking, especially on Great Lakes shores and other beautiful natural areas.

James Hewitt

After retiring from a career in the automotive industry, Jim had more time to spend in the natural world, and used it to improve habitat in the preserves and sanctuaries of local and statewide environmental organizations, mostly NGOs but also on state and local government properties. Typical activities include trail construction and maintenance, invasive plant removal, and native plant installation. Separately Jim has established and maintained native plant gardens, both at home and elsewhere in the community and he is currently working on a prairie/savanna project./

Ken Rosenman

Ken is an occupational and environmental physician who specializes in the hazardous effects of chemical, metal and mineral dusts. He has been teaching medical students, doing research and seeing patients at Michigan State University for the last 31 years. He enjoys kayaking, biking and playing soccer. What he likes best about being on the Board is to get out and see the land that owners are considering and have allowed Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy to help protect in perpetuity.

Louis Schavione III

As an advertising writer and creative director, Lou has an impressive record of building brands and winning most every major industry creative award in the process.At ad agencies such as Ogilvy, McCann-Erickson, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Leo Burnett, and Doner, at digital agencies such as Enlighten (now Perficient), and at top-tier health and wellness agencies including Fcb Health, Havas Health, and Ogilvy CommonHealth, the work Lou has created is characterized not only by its originality but also by its sense of deliberate provocation. It breaks through the market noise that bombards us every day. It incites people to act.

Lou is the recipient of Gold Clios, Cannes Gold Lions, One Show, New York Art Directors, Effie and OBIE awards. His work has been included in the Communication Arts Advertising Annual, The One Show Annual, British Design and Art Direction Advertising Annual, and the MPA Kelly Awards “Best Campaigns of the Year”. He holds a BA, magna cum laude, from St. Michael’s College and attended graduate school at Columbia University. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations at Michigan State University.

Hailey TenHarmsel

Hailey joined the Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy board in the winter of 2018.  She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management. She went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Fisheries Management from the University of Georgia.  She enjoys using insights from her educational background to help protect land nearby her home.  She recognizes the intrinsic and extrinsic value of undeveloped land and hopes protecting wild lands will help connect others to their surrounding environment and help provide refuge for wildlife in fragmented landscapes.

Land Conservation Specialist Bio

Ken Algozin

Ken is excited to serve as MMLC’s first Land Protection Specialist.  He has worked in the conservation arena for most of his academic and professional career, including stretches with The Nature Conservancy in Michigan, DeVries Nature Conservancy in Owosso, Michigan, and the USDA’s Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C.   When not at work, Ken enjoys reading, music, distance running, and wilderness backpacking.