In recent weeks the Board of Directors for Fenner Conservancy has been focused on our own organizations’ challenges. It is time now to pause and focus energy on supporting efforts to abolish systemic racism in America.

The horrific murder of George Floyd at the hands of police has brought the nation and the world to a tipping-point. Additionally—in the past few months alone—several other incidents have led up to this crucial moment in our history: the clear racial inequities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic; the race-based harassment of Black birder Christian Cooper by a white woman; the racial profiling and murder of jogger Ahmaud Arbery by two white men; and the killing of Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade by police.

In solidarity with our environmental peers around the country, we protest and vehemently denounce white supremacy, racism of all forms, and systems built for the profit and protection of not all people but only a privileged few.

We all need a healthy environment in which to thrive, that not only includes clean air and water, but the freedom to go birding, to go jogging, to hike a trail, to ride a bike, to play at a park, the freedom to trust that the people and systems of your nation—supported by your tax dollars and democracy—are safe for you and your family, for ALL families.

Fenner Conservancy, Fenner Nature Center, it’s Board of Directors and staff does not and will not tolerate racism, harassment or intimidation of any kind. We are committed to Fenner being an inclusive and safe space for BIPOC and other marginalized/oppressed populations. 

We will immediately set Diversity & Inclusion as a standing agenda item for all Board of Director meetings, and in the next 12 months we are committed to increasing the racial and cultural diversity of our Board of Directors to better reflect the Lansing-area residents we serve.

We are open to feedback on this plan and always welcoming of BIPOC community members that are interested in being involved with Fenner (a little, or a lot). We are here for this community. We are here to serve all people of Lansing and to ensure we are fulfilling our mission to connect people to nature through conservation, education and stewardship.


Jessica Fowler (President)

Matt Preisser (Vice President)

Amy Bond-Nelson Moore (Secretary)

Kristen Leivo (Treasurer)

Rachel Coale

Andrew Hagman

John Paskus

Chris Stewart

Rachel Swedburg