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Shirley Heinze Land Trust announces new officers and board

Margaret Williford

The Board of Directors of Shirley Heinze Land Trust has elected Margaret Williford as its new president.

An attorney with the Valparaiso law firm of Burke Costanza & Carberry, Williford replaces Dale Engquist, who served three years in the position. Joining her on the 2013 Executive Committee are Vice President Pat McKinlay, Treasurer Lance Werner and Secretary Anne Walsh.

The Board also elected four new members to serve three-year terms as directors. They are John Swanson, former executive director of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, NiSource Director Kelly Carmichael, Jonathan Hildebrand of Centier Bank, and businesswoman Jennifer Burkhart.

Departing board members Engquist, Sara Leonard, Dan Plath and Ray Szarmach will remain active in the organization as members of the Shirley Heinze Land Trust Advisory Council.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust manages almost 1,300 acres of natural land in LaPorte, Lake, and Porter counties. Five of its properties – Cressmoor Prairie, Seidner Dune & Swale, John Merle Coulter Preserve, Barker Woods, and Ambler Flatwoods – have been dedicated to the people of Indiana as State Nature Preserves.

Included in the Heinze Trust’s holdings are examples of the entire spectrum of natural communities in this area: tallgrass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal flatwoods, dune and swale, woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, and riparian habitat.

The Heinze Trust has also made contributions toward the purchase of natural areas owned by other entities, including the Indiana DNR, The Nature Conservancy, LaPorte County Parks, Lake County Parks, and the Portage Parks Department.

After recently acquiring the former Meadowbrook Girl Scout Camp in Valparaiso, the Shirley Heinze Land Trust announced that it has moved its offices to its new home at 109 W. 700 North, Valparaiso, IN 46385, where the phone number is (219) 242-8558.

For more information about Shirley Heinze Land Trust properties, visit www.heinzetrust.org, call (219) 879-4725, email land@heinzetrust.org, or access its Facebook page www.facebook.com/heinzetrust.

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Jeanette is a journalist with The Times Media Co. who has worked as both a reporter and editor. She has a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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