Karen Thurlow | District Administrator
Born and raised in Midland county, Karen's family were vendors of the Midland Farmers market from 1958 to 2018.
Karen has been a business manager for over 40 years. A retired farmer and a beekeeper, Karen has been serving as the Administrator for the Midland Conservation District since 2015.
Karen is passionate about educating on conservation practices and youth education for conservation and agriculture.
She is certified in environmental education programs, Project Learning Tree (American Forest Foundation) and Project Wild (Michigan Department of Natural Resources).
Karen currently serves on the Coleman Agriscience Advisory Board and Land Lab Planning Committee, volunteers at Midland Community Television producing and editing shows,
She has produced over 15 Conservation Matters Shows that air on MCTV and can be viewed on the district website.
A volunteer at Dahlia Hill, she is currently serving a two year term as treasurer on the board of directors. and a member of the Chemical City Garden Club, and Wild-Ones.
Karen also has a passion for history and historical places and after saving an "Old Barn" is also a member of the Michigan Barn Preservation Network.
Darcy Laurin | Farm Bill Assistant
A native Michigander, Darcy was born and raised near Lake Huron on the Sunrise Side and has resided in rural Midland County for 15 years. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Community Planning. Darcy is passionate about protecting our state’s natural resources and preserving family farms for future generations. She enjoys working with landowners and the public on education, needs assessment, and program development. In her spare time, Darcy studies endangered garden heritage crops and grows and shares heirloom seeds and plants. She also raises chickens and loves spending time out in nature with her daughter, husband, and dog.
Benjamin VanDyke | Technical Assistant
Benjamin graduated from Cornerstone University with a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental Biology. Benjamin enjoys working with people to understand, appreciate and preserve the land, and has worked in a educational roles for the Mackinac State Historic Parks, the Kalamazoo Nature Center, and the Battle Creek Outdoor Education Center ; most recently, he served as Program Coordinator for the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area serving Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska and Emmet counties in Northern MI. Benjamin enjoys working with local landowners to meet their needs and to protect and enhance wildlife habitat.