No stranger to Michigan's land conservancies, Jonathan Jarosz has worked as a conservation planner and consultant to non-profits throughout Michigan for the past fifteen years. Jonathan earned his graduate degree in Resource Development from Michigan State University; and holds graduate certificates in Watershed Management and Geographic Information Systems. Prior to joining Heart of the Lakes, Jarosz was employed as the Director for University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint. Jarosz has also served as the Midwest Field Representative for the Land Trust Alliance and as a conservation planner on behalf of The Little Forks Conservancy in Midland, MI.
Jarosz has had the opportunity to work in collaboration with staff from national non-profits, state, and federal agencies on a variety of community and non-profit based conservation initiatives. His focus has primarily been organizational capacity building in the areas of technology, strategic planning, and public engagement. Through all of his employment experiences his work has been focused on the development of collaborative solutions to community issues, with the dual purpose of public empowerment and capacity building for environmental and place-based organizations.
"We are very pleased and excited to announce this appointment," reported Tom Bailey, Heart of the Lakes Board Chair and Executive Director of the Little Traverse Conservancy. "Jonathan will bring leadership and creativity to Heart of the Lake's programs and a deep sense of commitment to our state's land conservancies. He has served nonprofits at a variety of program and leadership level, and has a breadth of perspective and experience as related to our state's natural resources."
"I look forward to continuing to serve and partner with Michigan's land conservancies in this new capacity," remarked Jarosz. "I am dedicated to this work because it provides critical services tied to the health and economy of the state. Heart of the Lakes plays a key role in supporting and developing conservancies' contribution to our state's quality of life."
Jarosz also commented "The sustainability of Michigan's land conservancies is built on a culture of conservation that is fueled by people's desire to preserve the open spaces and natural resources that characterize their communities around the state. The future success of Michigan's land conservancies will ultimately be judged by how effectively they unite their individual actions around a common goal - protecting Michigan's land."
Bailey added: "Now more than ever, Michigan needs thoughtful leadership, innovative ideas, and sound management of our environmentally and economically significant natural resources. Michigan needs effective land conservancies to ensure the permanent protection of critical land assets. Heart of the Lakes is positioned to meet those needs, ensuring a prosperous future for Michigan."