By Annie Perry, MNA Intern
MNA’s staff is full of people committed to protecting Michigan’s natural habitats. In addition to stewards and volunteers that help manage the sanctuaries, MNA has a group of regional stewardship organizers that oversee the volunteers and organize stewardship projects. Our three regional stewardship organizers are Adrienne Bozic, Katherine Hollins and Matt Schultz.
Katherine Hollins, the regional stewardship organizer for the eastern Lower Peninsula, has been with MNA for three years and oversees 60 sanctuaries in the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula. Her primary duties involve volunteer coordination and land management, but she also spends a lot of time working on removing invasive species—and getting volunteers to help her do it. On top of all that, Katherine conducts plant surveys, monitors sanctuaries, clears trails, marks boundaries, writes management plans, leading hikes, helps with prescribed burns, and conducts outreach to neighbors and communities surrounding some of MNA’s sanctuaries.
Katherine received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, but found that the jobs that most interested her involved the environment. She worked for the Student Conservation Association before joining the MNA staff and has a master’s degree in natural resources and the environment.
We sent Katherine a few questions to learn a little more about her experiences at MNA. Check out her responses below!
Q: What is your favorite part about being a regional stewardship organizer?
A: I love all of the people I get to work with – staff and volunteers. I get to learn from everyone and hear their stories. I also really enjoy getting out to see some of Michigan’s most beautiful spots… spending time outside during every season of the year has really opened my eyes to the wide variety of beauty out there.
Q: What is your favorite Michigan species (flora or fauna) and why?
A: This is an impossible question. However, if I have to pick one, I might choose the tamarack. They are beautiful trees, and pretty unique in that they lose their needles in the fall. Then when the new needles grow in the spring, they are an incredible bright green and feathery soft. They also tend to grow in neat places with other interesting plants… so they keep good company.
Q: If you could be any species (Michigan native or not), what would you be and why?
A: If I’m not a tamarack, I might like to be a spotted turtle. I think it sounds pretty nice to hang out around nice pools and marshy areas, swimming around and basking in the sun all day.