Who We Are
The Black Swamp Conservancy is a land trust, a regional, non-profit land conservation organization serving northwest Ohio. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all gifts and donations to the Conservancy are tax-deductible and stay in northwest Ohio.
The Conservancy is one of over forty land trusts in Ohio and one of more than 1,500 nationwide. We belong to the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts and the Land Trust Alliance.
Black Swamp Conservancy owns land or holds conservation agreements on property in twelve northwest Ohio counties and in Monroe County, Michigan.
Since its founding, Black Swamp Conservancy has grown to be a respected regional land trust, governed by a diverse board of trustees and operated by a knowledgeable staff serving a geographic area larger than the state of Connecticut.
The mission of Black Swamp Conservancy is to protect and preserve natural and agricultural lands in northwest Ohio for the benefit of future generations.
The Black Swamp Conservancy was founded in 1993 by a group of people alarmed by the rapidly accelerating rate of development in rural northwest Ohio. These concerned citizens recognized the need to protect and enhance the best remaining natural and agricultural areas in this region and to promote responsible stewardship of the land.
Since the Great Black Swamp once covered most of this area, the name Black Swamp Conservancy was chosen. Our first land conservation agreement, covering a six-acre Ottawa County wetland, was signed in December of 1997. Since then, the Conservancy has grown to protect more than 135 properties covering over 17,000 acres.
Rob Krain – Executive Director
Rob has been executive director since 2013. He has been with the Conservancy since 2007, previously serving as its conservation director. Rob holds a degree in environmental policy and analysis from Bowling Green State University and an executive certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University. Rob lives in Toledo, and in his spare time enjoys kayaking, camping and American roots music.
Chris Collier - Conservation Manager
Chris joined the Conservancy in January 2015 and serves as the conservation manager. He has previously worked with us as an intern in 2011 and as a contracted consultant in 2013. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Bowling Green State University and has a master’s degree in ecology from the University of Toledo. Chris and his wife enjoy camping, kayaking and backpacking.
Melanie Coulter - Stewardship Specialist
Melanie joined the Conservancy this spring, after working as The Olander Park System's Natural Resources Manager. She earned her Master’s degree in Conservation Biology, and her Bachelor’s in Fisheries and Wildlife. Mel has worked in conservation for over twenty years, working with endangered wildlife, aquatic ecology research, habitat restoration and natural areas preservation. Melanie and her husband live in Toledo and enjoy camping, canoeing, art, and native gardens.
Chris Dickey - Land Protection Specialist
Chris joined the Conservancy in January 2018. He holds a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a B.A. in Business Economics with an accounting emphasis at UC Santa Barbara as well as a Master’s degree in Rangeland Ecosystem Science from Colorado State University. Chris and his wife live in Holland with their dog and three cats. He enjoys gardening, canoeing, and backpacking.
Julie Pompa - Events and Communication Coordinator
Julie joined the Conservancy in Fall 2017, after working at the Toledo Botanical Garden as volunteer coordinator and involved with many of the Garden's events. She earned her Bachelor's of Science in Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and has worked for many years in communications in the private sector. She has also taught public relations classes at the University of Toledo. She and her husband live in Sylvania, and she enjoys traveling, local arts and photography.
Linda Wegman – Office Manager
Linda has been office manager of Black Swamp Conservancy since 2005. A lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, Linda is also the office manager of a local family foundation and has a wealth of nonprofit experience. Linda lives in Maumee and enjoys spending time with her daughters and grandchildren.
Sadie - Chief Happiness Officer
Beau - Happiness Associate
Julia Belle - Happiness Intern
Summer - Belly-Rub Intern
2018-19 BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Anne Yager, President
Steve Bowe, Vice President
Tim Minning, Treasurer
Virginia Keller, Secretary
Karen Ranney Wolkins
Mary Krueger, Immediate Past President
Sara Jane DeHoff