Sustainable Efforts In The Midwest

Farmer in a field

In the Midwest, we partner with local communities on conservation initiatives that protect land, enhance livability in communities and help develop local economies.  Photo by Ivan LaBianca.

Our sustainable programs in the Midwest tackle land use issues from food security and sustainable farming to flood management and green energy. Our efforts benefit millions of people in cities like Ann Arbor, Chicago and Milwaukee as well as rural areas in central Michigan, Indiana and more. We’re looking to the future so that communities in the Midwest can thrive in a healthy environment. Click on the links below to learn more about our efforts.

Chicago Wilderness Vision City of Chicago

Our conservation efforts in and around Chicago, from Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to wetlands restoration, keeps growing. Chicago Wilderness, regional alliance represents more than 300 organizations, recently asked us to help update and refine its 2004 green infrastructure plan. With an ambitious vision to create… Read More

Greenseams: Milwaukee Flood Management Greenseams-_(c)_Abbie-Church_390x260

More than one million people live and work in the Milwaukee metro area. As the region grows, with more houses, pavement and concrete packed into its limits, major storms can overflow sewer systems, flooding homes with filthy water. We collaborate… Read More

Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative

We’re helping to implement the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative, a far-reaching project designed to protect and link city parks, natural areas and working farms throughout the city, while curbing the growth and effects of sprawl surrounding the city. For a… Read More

Tackling Food Deserts In Michigan Girl at farmer's market

What are you having for dinner? Imagine trying to answer that question if you couldn’t get to a grocery store all week. That’s the reality for more than 23 million Americans who live in “food deserts.” According to the U.S…. Read More

Gateway Community Initiative In Michigan: Waterloo Recreation Area main street in Chelsea, Michigan

Waterloo Recreation Area in Michigan is a little-known treasure. About a one-hour drive from Ann Arbor, this 20,000-acre park is the largest in the lower peninsula and shares a 36-mile hiking trail with the Pinckney State Recreation Area. Yet there wasn’t… Read More

Greening The Crossroads: Central Indiana midwest farm

Good green infrastructure planning can have a major impact on the quality of life for residents of a region.  In 2010, the Fund designed a green infrastructure network that highlights more than 300,000 acres of high-quality land in need of… Read More

Sustainable Fish Success In Indiana Yellow perch

With Lake Erie’s stock of yellow perch dwindling, our Freshwater Institute partnered with soybean growers and aquaculture experts to return a sustainable, environmentally responsible supply of this Great Lakes favorite fish to the tables of Midwestern restaurants and homes. Yellow… Read More

Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) Saginaw Bay WIN logo

The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network is a collaborative effort of communities, conservationists, foundations and businesses working to enhance the natural resources of the Saginaw Bay Watershed and create a more sustainable future for all its inhabitants. The Fund administers… Read More

Wind Energy In The Midwest Wind farm

As concerns mount over the high costs and long-term environmental impacts of fossil fuels, wind has become an increasingly important sector of the energy industry. In 2009, the U.S. wind industry supported 85,000 jobs in all 50 states. The U.S…. Read More


Kris Hoellen Shepherdstown, WV
(304) 876-7462

As Vice President of Sustainable Programs and Director of the Conservation Leadership Network, Kris Hoellen has spent more than a decade bringing people together. From food security to infrastructure development and community livability, her work touches key issues and helps people forge solutions. Kris holds an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from Emory University.

Peg Kohring
Peg Kohring Sawyer, Michigan
(269) 426-8825

Midwest Director Peg Kohring has, over more than 17 years, led transformative conservation efforts in 12 states, by designing or implementing city greenway efforts, farm preservation, improved farmers markets, flood protection and more. Peg holds a bachelors degree in biology from Michigan State University.