Mary Vandevord | AICP | LEED AP ND
President & CEO
Mary joined HeartLands Conservancy in 2014 as a Community & Environmental Planner. In October 2016, Mary was appointed as President & CEO of HeartLands Conservancy. Growing up in Madison County, Mary has always had a deep appreciation for nature, farming , and the outdoors. Mary has a Master of Regional and City Planning degree from the Univ. of Oklahoma. She has as worked in multiple states and cities on land use policy, watershed health, conservation, and trails.
Ed has been with HeartLands since the beginning. He is responsible for a variety of special projects, most notably the Mounds – America’s First Cities Project. As a former NRCS coordinator, Ed advises staff on natural resource issues and opportunities.
Laura L. Lyon
Vice President of Program Strategy & Impact
Laura works on strategic initiatives at HeartLands – including the Mounds – America’s First Cities, the effort to elevate and create the Cahokia Mounds Mississippian Culture National Historic Park. Laura leads a variety of strategic planning, urban design, planning, and landscape and graphic design, as well as grant writing and branding for the organization. Laura has a Master of Architecture degree from Washington University St. Louis.
Director of Development & Events
Tyler Burk | EIT
Water Program Manager
Tyler Burk leads the organization’s watershed initiatives and is a certified civil engineer in training with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from SIUE and a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri. He has a passion for watershed management and prior to joining HLC in 2019, he worked on urban and agricultural non-point source pollution prevention projects for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Sarah has a passion for natural areas and trees. With a degree in Natural Resources and Environment Science from the University of Illinois, Sarah manages HLC’s conservation program, including managing and monitoring conserved lands, invasive species removal programs, overseeing restoration projects, community forestry programs, and working with conservation easements.
Community & Partnerships Coordinator
Belinda has a passion for environmental justice and equity. She over 30 years of experience in community organizing and uses her talents to build partnerships and engage communities. Belinda has a Master of Science in Management with an emphasis in Organizational Design and Development from Purdue University Global.
Resilient Communities Program Manager
As the Resilient Communities Program Manager, Jenny combines her interest in creating sustainable communities with her technical skills in mapping and geospatial analysis. She uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to help community leaders understand their environment. Jenny is particularly attuned to the challenges of floodplain communities, rural areas, and sustainable food systems.
Steve is a wildlife biologist and retired after 23 years as a forest supervisor for the Shawnee National Forest. Steve works with HLC to protect the natural floodplains of the Middle Mississippi River and conduct asssessments of conservation areas.
Special Projects Coordinator
Mike coordinates and designs stormwater Best Management Practices, such as grassed waterways, wetlands, and sediment basins. He has worked on numerous facilities in Clinton County and is a former NRCS employee.