Staff

Lynette Anderson: Interpretive Naturalist/Restoration Specialist
lynette.anderson@belwin.org
I am involved with both programming and land management at Belwin. I enjoy creating walks and talks that showcase the great work we are doing to restore native habitat for all the critters and plants. I also get to be involved with the work that creates the habitat, which I love! Each day holds something different for me. Some days I am working with my body on the land, some days I am doing reconnaissance for a program, some days I am working with volunteers, and some days, nights or evenings I get to lead a group to some amazing phenological event happening on Belwin property. I feel blessed to be able to work here.

A smiling woman wearing glasses and a light blue shirt kneels in the grass and gestures towards prairie plants.

Katie Bloome: Executive Director
katie.bloome@belwin.org
651-435-0848
I love connections — the human connections we form when we find something in common, and the ecological interconnectedness we see in nature. My role at Belwin spans both, and my favorite days are when I give tours, take donors on buggy rides, or walk our trails with supporters. I have a background in nonprofit leadership, environmental education, and fundraising, most recently coming from Minnesota Public Radio. My love for prairie and savanna started while studying biology at Grinnell College, in Iowa, and I am so happy to be once again surrounded by these rare and beautiful ecosystems. I find my greatest enjoyment exploring the outdoors and canoeing with my husband and two kids.

A smiling woman wearing a blue shirt stands in front of bright green tree branches.

Paloma Cardoza: Land and Program Assistant
paloma.cardoza@belwin.org
When I was a child, I believed I could connect with nature on a spiritual level. As an adult, I feel the need to take care of plants and animals so they survive long after I am gone. I am grateful to be able to fulfill this dream and put my degree in Conservation Biology to use at Belwin. Working on the land — whether hand pulling terrestrial invasives, being involved with controlled burns, harvesting seed from wild prairie flowers, or building bird habitat — I feel that my efforts will have positive impacts for generations to come. As a program assistant, I get to create content for our social media pages, connecting the work we do with the community, in hopes that others will see the beauty of Belwin and the importance of our work.

A smiling woman wearing glasses and a dark blue Belwin Conservancy shirt stands in front of autumn leaves.

Cooper Crose: Land Assistant
I studied Environmental Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth and then bounced around the country working various wildlife jobs for a few years. Since coming back to Minnesota, I have been working with savanna and prairie restorations and its related wildlife, which is where I really made the connection between healthy habitats and healthy wildlife. I am excited to be at Belwin as a Land Assistant where I can combine my two areas of knowledge.

A smiling man wearing a blue t-shirt and a baseball cap stands on a trail in front of trees.

Angie Eckel: Development and Communications Director
angie.eckel@belwin.org
651-435-0687
I love getting to know and learn from Belwin’s supporters. I grew up on a farm in Iowa, where I acquired a deep and lasting love for the land. Now that I’m at Belwin, one of my favorite things is learning more about Minnesota’s native plant communities. I came to Belwin most recently from Minnesota Public Radio, but also have years of experience managing arts organizations, and am a classical singer by trade. I find Belwin’s beauty endlessly inspiring and take particular joy in exploring it with my husband and our two little boys.

Alissa Gold: Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant
Having grown up with woods in my backyard and going camping, foraging, and hunting, I was instilled with love and respect for all things grown and growing. As I have gotten older, I have started to see that the access I enjoyed in my youth informs my passion for conserving these wild spaces for generations to come. With a background in fabrication, carpentry, and bookkeeping for theater, arts, and film, I come to Belwin most recently from the scene shop of the Guthrie Theater. I am so humbled to use my skillset in supporting Belwin’s mission and I hope that the personal experiences people have here will inspire them to share and care for the beautiful and necessary wilderness around us all.

A smiling woman wearing a black and white striped t-shirt stands in front of green tree branches.

Susan Haugh: Program Director
susan.haugh@belwin.org
651-425-1147
I am a creator and activist, composer and collaborator. Weaving these passions together, I’ve supported the LGBTQIA+ community through two performance-based organizations, Dreams of Hope and Renaissance City Choir, both in Pittsburgh. I moved to Minnesota for love and was blown away by Belwin Conservancy’s beauty and dedication to healthy ecologies. At Belwin, I bring my passion for arts and culture together with my love of nature to support the health of the planet for generations to come.

A smiling woman wearing a bright purple and turquoise winter coat stands in front of trees on a winter day.,

Haley Kutzler: Land Assistant
I was fortunate enough to grow up in the country playing in the woods, working on the family tree farm, and hunting and fishing in my free time. Living in that atmosphere inspired me to do what I can for the environment. I received a bachelor’s degree in Field Biology from the University of Wisconsin River Falls and worked multiple seasonal jobs, including out west for the USFWS on remote refuges, for the WI DNR with the wildlife and fisheries department, and, most recently, I did contract restoration work. Working at Belwin gives me new insight into everything I did before on a different level. I love being outside and never knowing what’s around the corner. Being able to continue what I enjoy doing and making a difference is why Belwin is the perfect next chapter for me.

A smiling woman wearing a gray hoodie, baseball cap and sunglasses holds a fish while standing on a boat in a lake.

Marggie Ogas: Development Assistant
margaret.ogas@belwin.org
651-502-8174
As someone who grew up in an urban area, spending time with nature was a rare treat. After moving to the Twin Cities for college, I explored Minnesota’s beautiful natural spaces and developed a new appreciation for the outdoors. In my role, I help tell the story of why opportunities to access these spaces are so important to our many diverse communities. In addition to supporting fundraising, one of my favorite parts about working at Belwin is getting to meet all the species of plants and wildlife that find home here. Outside of my work at Belwin, I am a professional dancer, choreographer and teaching artist. 

A smiling woman with dark curly hair wearing a tan top and black pants sits on a tree trunk in the forest.

Eric Palmen: Facilities and Equipment Specialist
eric.palmen@belwin.org
I love working at Belwin because of the variety of jobs I get to do, the beautiful landscape I am surrounded by each day, and our wonderful, creative staff. I feel like I am doing some good for the planet.

A man wearing a yellow button up shirt and a baseball cap holds a gas can while walking away from a prescribed burn.

Laura Sherar: Event & Office Coordinator
laura.sherar@belwin.org
651-435-0690
I love spending time outdoors learning about how nature’s systems are interconnected. As event and office coordinator, I’m excited to welcome people to Belwin’s unique, beautiful places through events that help the community connect with each other and nature. My background is in operations and outreach, and I recently returned to school for a certificate in environmental sustainability. I’m incredibly grateful to be able to contribute to the creative work happening at Belwin. 

Hannah Smith: Program Coordinator, Anishinabe Academy partnership
hannah.smith@belwin.org
651-478-9075
I am excited to be a part of Belwin’s newest program – a collaboration with Anishinabe Academy – and to begin weaving dreams and visions into concrete realities for youth, families and teachers to enjoy in all seasons! Growing up, I was lucky enough to share my backyard with a conservancy in south central Wisconsin, skip rocks along the North Shore, and hike among the tall pines, prairies and woodlands of the Midwest. My love of adventure, nature, languages, art, and lifelong learning has allowed me to call many parts of the world ‘home’, including my most recent experience living with and learning from an Indigenous community in the mountains of central Mexico. I am humbled to apply my background in community-based education, program development and youth programming to this unique and innovative project, and cannot wait to see what the seeds we plant today will bring forth for generations to come.

A smiling woman wearing a gray jacket and beanie stands in front of trees on a snowy winter day.

Justin Sykora: Operations Director
justin.sykora@belwin.org
651-425-8070
I enjoy the challenges of working with the complex ecosystems making up Belwin Conservancy. Belwin truly has it all, from soccer fields to hiking trails, wetlands to prairies, forests to savannas, there’s never a chance to get bored. I studied Conservation at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and have been lucky to spend the years since I graduated working with natural resources.

Board of Directors

Jerry Allan
Artist, Architect, Professor
Criteria Architects

Cindy Gehrig
Retired, Previously President
Jerome Foundation

Kris Hansen
Global Application Engineering Manager
3M Food Safety Division

David Hartwell, President

Douglas Johnson, Vice President 
Principal
Oliver Real Estate Services

Jill Koosmann, Treasurer
CEO and President
HRK Group Inc.

Jessica Manivasager
Shareholder
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

Irene Qualters
Associate Laboratory Director for Simulation and Computation
Los Alamos National Laboratory

John Satorius, Secretary
Retired, Previously Counsel/President & Board Chair
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

 

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We spark passion for wild places through conservation, education, and immersive experiences on more than 1,500 acres in Minnesota’s Saint Croix Valley.

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1553 Stagecoach Trail South
Afton, MN 55001
651-436-5189
info@belwin.org

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