Each month, a crew of nature-loving, conservation-minded individuals gathers to ensure that conservation moves forward in southeast Indiana. The Oak Heritage Conservancy Board of Directors is a group of dedicated volunteers. They lend their professional skills, their wit and wisdom, and often their muscles to make conservation a reality in southeast Indiana. Get to know them a bit more, or come to one of our Board meetings or events to get to meet these fine folks in person.
Andy Kain, President
Andy Kain works as an Environmental Specialist for Arvin Sango in Madison. Andy grew up in Plainfield Indiana, he has always had a fondness for the outdoors. In his youth he often took advantage of the trail systems and nearby parks for running and biking. He spent many summers in the north woods of Wisconsin and there he learned the importance of protecting natural forests and preserving land.
Andy has been serving on our Board for the last year. He is honored to be taking the reins as President. In particular, Andy has been building his skills managing large planning projects, which will come in handy for OHC this next year, as we tackle a big, new project planning for the future.
Paul Carmony, Vice President
Paul is one of our founding Board Members. He worked for The Nature Conservancy for years. Often, his job was to talk with landowners interested in conserving their land. This led to many afternoons hearing stories about families, ancestors, and the land. Paul’s hobbies range from looking for snakes and building picket fences to canoeing and doing crossword puzzles. He says that:
“OHC is important in our area because it offers land owners an opportunity to see the land that they loved continue to exist and grow in its natural state often after their deaths. Our work also offers opportunities for people to save the land and its creatures.”
Angie is an environmental scientist in Bloomington, Indiana. She and her husband, Nathan, are outdoor adventurers who run, hike, and bike all around Indiana and travel to new National Parks each year.
Why did you join the board? I’ve always had an interest in nature, conservation, and in sharing that love with others, as well as in protecting our lands and natural treasures.
Why is Oak Heritage important to the region? It gives people choices about how to manage or pass on their land. We highlight the beauty and value of the resources we have in southeast Indiana. And we host events that help people grow their knowledge and enjoy nature.
What is your favorite Oak Heritage property? Why? Tribbett’s Woods. I took a forest Dynamics class in college, and we did some field work there. It is a lonely forrest in the middle of all that farmland, but my god, THE TREES!
Karen Dickie, Treasurer
Karen taught abroad for decades. Now she puts that knowledge as an educator to work for OHC.
If you ever run into Karen in the woods, ask about her many secret talents, from playing dulcimer to her love of music.
Travis Cohron is an attorney in the Indianapolis area, focusing on litigation, employment law, and real estate. We know Travis because his father, Bill Cohron, donated a conservation easement, protecting their family’s farm – a 300+ acre hunting retreat in Jefferson County. Many of Travis’s happiest memories involve the family “farm.” He attributes his love of the outdoors to being brought along by his dad and grandfather for their excursions and hunting there. He’s not a hunter himself – he’s always been the crazy guy who blocks two lanes of traffic to help some animal or another cross safely.
Travis loves teaching his two girls, Ella (9) Avery (6), how important it is to be good environmental stewards, to identify trees, etc. Travis golfs, fishes, loves to run outside. He’s also been known to stare at old trees and complain about how so many people lack any appreciation for their beauty. Travis says that he hopes to be able to use his experiences to help the OHC grow.
Chrys is a software engineer by day and a pollinator hero by night. She has restored native prairie and wildflower habitat on her 120-acre farm in Aurora, and it is a sight to behold. She’s helping OHC restore habitat in our nature preserves. Here’s a bit more about Chrys:
Why did you join the board? To participate in decisions about wildlife habits both those we currently own and new acquisitions.
What do you see as the future of Oak Heritage? For the southeast part of Indiana, we will become the “go to” organization for land owners who wish to leave teir land as a wildlife legacy.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy nature restoration, especially monarch butterflies, and native plants, especially those that benefit pollinators.
Richard brings humor and wisdom to our Board. He taught abroad for his entire career, and retired to southeast Indiana. He always wanted to live in a cabin by a creek, and that’s just what he and his wife, Karen, do today. Here’s a bit more about Richard:
Why did you join the Board? Way back when – in answer to a poster in Madison Library that announced an OHC meeting. I went to see what the organization had to say.
Why is Oak Heritage important in the region? It offers landowners a mean of protecting their holdings and preserving them indefinitely.
What do you see as the future of Oak Heritage? For the immediate future, we need to recruit younger people who are willing to take on leadership positions.
What are your Hobbies? Birds. Railroads. Gardening.
Eric grew up camping, fishing and exploring the outdoors in Oregon. His parents stressed how important it was to protect and preserve wild spaces and he believes very strongly that we get a little poorer as a community when a natural area is lost or spoiled.
Eric moved to Madison in 1995 to teach economics at Hanover College. He immediately began exploring the trails below the College and in nearby Clifty Falls State Park. He enjoys camping and hiking with his family. He’s eager to serve on the Board and help protect natural areas in southeast Indiana.
Judy Rust is a dynamic combination of skills. She helps us plan events and hone rough drafts of outreach materials into beautiful newsletters and handouts, and she always keeps us laughing. Judy is from Greensburg, Indiana. She has a passion for nature and all things living. A few highlights from a recent interview with Judy:
What do you see as the future of Oak Heritage? I’d like OHC to become a household name and that large farmers and small home owners will consider protecting their land that they love.
What are your hobbies? Our magnificent perennial gardens, arboretum, and 125 tons of rocks we call home, as well as out lovely 100 year old bungalow that shelters us from inclement weather.
What is your favorite Oak Heritage Preserve? Why? Riverview. I love the esprit de corps that surrounded these individuals and resulted in a tremendous save – – not just for them but others who will enjoy this space. Also it serves as an example of what is possible if you work together and care enough.
If you’d like to join us at a Board meeting, you are very welcome! We meet on the first Tuesday of each month at South Ripley Elementary School, 1568 South Benham Road, Versailles, IN 47042, from 7-8:30pm. Our meetings are open to the public. Please contact us if you have any questions!
Would you like to lend your skills and passion to the Oak Heritage Conservancy Board? Contact us to talk about serving.