With passion and drive, HCA's new Executive Director plans for positive change in the watershed




Logan Heley (center) and the Nature Action Crew met with KC WildLands Program Manager, Linda Lehrbaum, at the HOP to discuss invasive honeysuckle removal and partnership opportunities. Linda has been instrumental in conserving the remnants of Kansas City’s original landscape by involving people in the stewardship of the land. Photo by Sarah Benal. 



Fellow Climate Action’eers, Sustainability Supporters, and Conservation Champions,


My name is Logan Heley and March marks my second month as Heartland Conservation Alliance’s Executive Director. Our founding Executive Director, Jill Erickson, deserves great credit for the strong and exciting position in which HCA finds itself at this critical time for climate action work in our region. Jill is still helping us with this transition, and I am so grateful for her support as well as that of our fantastic staff and engaged Board – particularly our interim Executive Director Sam Bennett.


My first experience in climate action was spending time as a kindergartener at my dad's solar business. More recently, I’ve been involved locally as an active member of Climate Action KC and former board member of the Metropolitan Energy Center. I’m also a current city councilmember for Overland Park, KS after being elected in 2017 and re-elected in 2021.


In my five years prior to joining HCA, I was a community engagement manager for Harvesters—The Community Food Network. Before that, I was a press intern at the Obama White House and worked as an intern for Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. I’m a graduate from the University of Southern California with dual degrees in Broadcast Journalism and History, and I’m currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas.


As a native of Kansas City, I’m passionate about our region. I’ve lived on both coasts, but nothing is quite like home. As the Heart of America, we’re uniquely positioned – geographically, politically, and economically – to be leaders in climate action.


I’m so excited about the work ahead! And our Work Groups are busy (let us know if you’d like to join one!):

  • Our Nature Action Crew is growing quickly, particularly after we received an EPA Brownfields grant that will stabilize funding for this green jobs program for the next three years. Our charge will be ensuring this impactful program grows in a sustainable and healthy way.

  • We’ll soon be publishing our 2021 Blue River Report Card. The next step will be taking it to community members and regional leaders so we can convert the data into beneficial actions across the watershed.

  • Thanks to your donations, we continue to steward our property at the HOP (Heartland Overlook Preserve). We are also finalizing a conservation easement with the City of Kansas City, MO at the Municipal Farm.

  • We are connecting with regional leaders, our local governments, and other nonprofit partners to be sure we take full advantage – together – of the generational resources coming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This could be our best chance yet to Renew the Blue.”

  • The work of restoring vacant lots, community engagement events, the Green Guard Stewardship Program, and more continue to be priorities.


Your financial donations help ensure that HCA is a healthy, sustainable organization helping our region be healthy and sustainable. Please consider making a financial donation today to keep our great work going and to support our wonderful staff who make it happen with our community partners.


Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to serving HCA and our region in this important work.


Wishing you safety and health,


Logan


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