Ryan London named President
Lake Forest Open Lands Association is pleased to announce that Ryan London has been appointed to the position of President on May 18, 2022. Ryan becomes the fifth president in the nationally recognized land trust’s 55-year history, “I am incredibly thankful to continue my meaningful career with an organization that connects people with nature.”
An Illinois native and long-term staff member of Lake Forest Open Lands (LFOLA), Ryan London brings extensive knowledge of the land as well as a deep understanding of LFOLA to his role as president, acquired during his 20+ year tenure with our organization. In his previous role, Ryan directed the acquisition, stewardship and financial planning of our land preservation projects. Most recently Ryan was the chief project manager for LFOLA’s ambitious restoration and infrastructure project, the Jean and John Greene Nature Preserve at McCormick Ravine which is slated to open in late Fall, 2022. Ryan stewarded the organization through successful reaccreditation, guided our nature preserves to their highest level of habitat health, improved the management of our many conservation easements, and was intricately involved in helping secure some of our most recent land acquisitions, including Westfork Savanna in late 2021.
Ryan’s career highlights include projects that represent successful collaboration between federal, state and local organizations and the development of support from both public and private stakeholders for complex land preservation, recreation and environmental education initiatives.
Susan Lenz appointed Senior Vice President of Community Conservation
LFOLA’s vision is to expand the community’s commitment to conservation and connection with nature. With this in mind, LFOLA hired Susan Lenz, former Executive Director for Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT) for the new position of Senior Vice President of Community Conservation. While at the BACT, Susan directed land preservation initiatives and stewardship. Susan currently serves on the board of the statewide Prairie State Conservation Coalition, the coalition of land trusts throughout the state of Illinois. In addition, she also participates in several regional and state initiatives including Rotary International’s Operation Pollination, Illinois Monarch Project, the Morton Arboretum’s Chicago Region Trees’ Initiative and Oak Ecosystem Recovery Project, Chicago Wilderness and the Land Trust Alliance.
Since its establishment in 1967, Lake Forest Open Lands, the first accredited land trust in Illinois, has acquired, preserved and maintained some of the finest natural habitats in our region including prairies, savannas, ravines and wetlands. Over 14 miles of walking trails and six, soon to be nine, nature preserves are open to the public year-round. Lake Forest Open Lands Association’s vision is to engage and expand the public’s commitment to land preservation and conservation, and the organization offers robust engagement programming to connect all people to nature. As an independent conservation land trust, LFOLA is supported solely by voluntary contributions, including membership dues and donations and receives no local or state government funding to support its day-to-day operations. For more information about Lake Forest Open Lands, please visit LFOLA.org.