About Us

Our Mission

Our mission is to protect and enhance Cass County’s natural resources by providing educational and technical services to all landowners.

Meet the Team

All our Employees & Board Members have a love for conservation & it shows in their daily efforts.  If you see us out in the community please feel free to share your ideas to improve Cass County’s natural resources.

Jake Young – Executive Director

Started December 14, 2022 as the District’s Executive Director.  Jake moved to Cass County in early 2020, residing in Newberg Township.  While Jake has worked 20+ years in the Market Research industry, he has actively been involved in environmental stewardship his entire career.

Jake volunteered 1000s of hours in the Chicagoland area, primarily for the Chicago Park District, on behalf of the Jackson Park Advisory Council. In 2015, he became certified as an Openlands Treekeeper, allowing him to plan and lead tree plantings throughout the city.  Since moving to Michigan, Jake has been involved with Michigan Clean Water Corps, helping monitor lake water quality. In June 2022, Jake was certified as a Michigan Certified Natural Shoreline Professional by the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership.

Korie Blyveis – SESC Administrator

Started February 29, 2016 at 16 hours per week.  Now working full time and certified by the State of Michigan to perform duties under the SESC Comprehensive classification. (inspector/administrator).

Korie is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a BA in Environmental Studies and Communications.

She is an 20 year resident of Cass County, prior Newberg Township Clerk and St. Joseph County MSU Extension Resource Recovery Agent.

Emily Haluda – MAEAP Technician

Started November 10, 2020 as the District’s full-time Michigan Department of Agriculture grant funded MAEAP Technician.

Emily is a graduate of Lake Superior State University with a bachelor degree in parks and recreation, and an associate degree in natural resource technology.

She was born and raised in St. Joseph county, IN and currently resides in Bristol, Indiana. Her professional experiences have been heavily focused on natural resource programming for youth. Her goal is to work with local farmers to ensure best management practices are being implemented.

Pat Boyle – SESC Assistant/Inspector

Started February 12, 2020.

The District is the Michigan Part 91 Enforcing Agency for Cass County. Pat completed DEQ training on March 11, 2020 to be certified as a Stormwater Management Operator. He conducts Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control inspections for the County and assists with other District activities as needed.

District Board of Directors

A Conservation District Board consists of five (5) elected directors who serve four (4) year terms.  The District election is nonpartisan and the directors are elected by the residents of the district at large.

Jim Kings

Liaison Duties:  Human Resources, Water Quality

Karen Nelson
Vice Chairman

Liaison Duties:  CISMA, Tree/Plant Sales, Wildlife & Habitat

Alex Bozymowski

Liaison Duties: MAEAP, Wildlife & Habitat

Burne Miller

Liaison Duties: Recycling

Dallas Chester

Liaison Duties:  Water Quality, Wildlife & Habitat

Associate Directors
TBD – Liaison Duties:

Cass County Board Liaison

Volunteer Bill Westrate – Liaison Duties: CISMA, Tree/Plant Sales

Volunteer Veronica Keinreich – Liaison Duties: Water Quality, Public Relations

Emily Haluda Volunteer Coordination & Youth Outreach
  • Financial Committee: TBD
  • Policy Committee: TBD