Labor and Economic Opportunity
For the past twenty years, Elan Lipschitz has dedicated himself to protecting land, habitats, and waterways in Mid-Michigan through his work at the Little Forks Conservancy. As the Director of Land Conservation, Elan works with landowners as they make decisions about how best to preserve their properties and to create conservation easements to protect their land forever. He also helps to mentor and develop the next generation of conservation leaders by serving as a site supervisor for Huron Pines AmeriCorps members. Huron Pines AmeriCorps members strive to enhance Michigan’s natural resources and foster environmental stewardship by engaging local volunteers, community groups, and schools in service projects, hands-on learning opportunities, and educational workshops.
“Elan is one of those supervisors who make our program great,” notes Huron Pines Executive Director Brad Jensen. “He really has had a hand in helping to shape the future of many AmeriCorps members who are just launching their careers in conservation. We have had a successful program for so many years now because we have people like Elan who really make it that way”.
Shelby Cain, Little Forks’ current Huron Pines AmeriCorps member, feels fortunate to have Elan as her supervisor. “Elan is a great person with a positive attitude. He is a nice guy who will go out of his way to help others when they need it,” Shelby explains. “Whenever I have questions or need clarification, Elan will take the time to explain things, give background information, and answer all the questions I have. He has tons of knowledge that he is always willing to share.”
Elan’s support and leadership have been especially important as the conservancy faced both the challenge of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the historic flooding that impacted Midland this year. “Elan has been extremely supportive through the whole thing,” stated Shelby. “Our office suffered a significant amount of damage; there was over 3 feet of water in the basement. Many of our important documents, stewardship supplies, and programming materials were damaged or destroyed. A few of our preserves were also damaged and portions had to be closed for a while for safety reasons. However, even with all of that, Elan is still able to stay positive and continues to do his job well. He manages to ‘get things done’ even during difficult circumstances and inspires me to do the same. I am very grateful for all that Elan has done for me and am so glad he is my site supervisor this year.”