JoAnn Hinds: A Woman, A Company, A Mission

By Tina Patterson

JoAnn Hinds found her passion for nature as a child when she, her three sisters and her dad spent fall weekends walking the unspoiled areas north of Roseville. These early memories are the foundation on which JoAnn built a life of appreciation for nature.

Despite her busy schedule as the President and CEO of Diamond Die and Mold Company in Clinton Township, JoAnn sets aside time for long walks in the woods, bike riding and sharing her love of the natural world through volunteer work with organizations like MNA.

JoAnn is not your standard volunteer, though. To protect and preserve the natural areas she loves, she has formed a unique partnership with MNA that goes above-and-beyond what a single volunteer is capable of. When there is a stewardship project that needs to be completed at the Wilcox-Warnes Nature Sanctuary near her tool and die plant, she gives her employees the day off with full pay and they donate their time to MNA.

This generous and creative use of resources creates goodwill all around: Diamond Die employees enjoy spending the day outdoors, MNA benefits from having trained craftsmen and JoAnn is gratified to know she is making a difference in the natural areas she loves.

For more information about JoAnn and her work, check out the January newsletter.

MNA Welcomes a Trio of Talent

MNA is pleased to welcome three talented and environmental-savvy interns to the communications department this winter. As the brains behind MNA communication and promotion, these interns won’t be fetching coffee or making copies. Drawing from their diverse backgrounds and experiences, they will be your leading ladies when it comes to the freshest environmental news, event coverage and the latest social media tools. They’re a friendly group, too, so feel free to contact them with ideas or just to say hello!


Angie Jackson

As a yoga instructor who enjoys rock climbing, camping, running and traveling, Angie is thrilled to join the MNA team as the News Editorial Intern and blog manager. A journalism undergraduate at Michigan State University with an interest in magazine writing, Angie’s responsibilities include bringing news to MNA members and the public, editing the newsletter and managing the blog. Angie strives to preserve life in everything she does, and believes that humans are equal parts of, not superior to, the environment. Her ultimate dream is to move to Colorado, take weekend rock climbing trips with her dog, teach yoga and write for a magazine or newspaper.


Danielle Sheley

Danielle, a public relations undergraduate at Central Michigan University, has a passion for working with nonprofit organizations, and is dedicated to making the world a better place for future generations. Thus, it’s only fitting that she is MNA’s Communications Intern. Danielle hopes to use social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, to help educate the public about MNA’s importance. She craves change and adventure, and her interests include traveling, being active and spending time with her family. Once she graduates in May, Danielle sees herself working in communications for a nonprofit that improves the environment or society in general.

Yang Zhang

Yang, a writing intern, graduated from Michigan State University in December with a master’s degree in environmental journalism. She is from Xi’an, China, and is passionate about nature. When she’s not digging up the latest news on our environment, she enjoys reading and jogging. By covering MNA events and writing news stories, Yang hopes to gain valuable experience in public relations and learn skills in event planning and project management.

If you have interesting or fun ideas for the blog, or are interested in contributing to our news efforts, please contact Angie by emailing ajackson@michigannature.org. If you are more interested in events, or are interested in helping out with the promotion of MNA and the environment, please contact Danielle by emailing dsheley@michigannature.org.

A Heart for Nature: Remembering Glenna Levengood

Glenna Levengood, a lively woman and longtime member and donor, made a lasting imprint on MNA. She and her husband, W.C. “Lefty,” first became involved with MNA in 1970. Together they sold property to MNA for below the market value to avoid rising property taxes.

Glenna and Lefty didn’t stop there, though. Inspired by the message in Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring,” they became advocates for preserving nature. They continued to purchase adjacent land, combining it with the original property donated to MNA.

The donated land became MNA’s 200-plus-acre Lefglen Nature Sanctuary in Jackson County, which was named by combining Lefty and Glenna. The sanctuary remains home to some of the most diverse animal and life in any MNA sanctuary.

Unfortunately, Glenna passed away peacefully at her home in Grass Lake, Mich., this past November. She will be greatly missed, but she is remembered as an avid horsewoman, 4-H leader, prodigy in the fine arts, dog lover and passionate friend. She is survived by her husband of nearly 67 years and beloved pets, Tizzy, Cutie Pi and Chi.

A donation in Glenna’s memory and for the ongoing preservation of sanctuaries such as Lefglen can be made to MNA. To contact the office, e-mail michigannature@michigannature.org or call 517-655-5655.

Call for Contributors

As we move into the New Year, MNA is looking for contributors to our nature blog. Posts typically run 300-500 words and fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • News and Events: Cover MNA news (new grants and initiatives) and events (volunteer days and member events) for the blog.
  • Stewardship: Share a story of outstanding stewardship in one of MNA Nature Sanctuaries.
  • Sanctuaries: Explore habitat and profile one of MNA properties
  • People: Feature an exceptional MNA volunteer, member or trustee.
  • Education: Describe a natural feature (flora, fauna or habitat) in an MNA sanctuary

If you have story ideas or are interested in writing for the blog, please contact MNA Communications Coordinator Matt Hund by emailing mhund@michigannature.org or calling 517.655.5655.