Local named Mississippi Blufflands director

RICK LAWRENCE has been hired by the Natural Land Institute as director of the organization’s Mississippi Blufflands projects. He will work with land owners, community leaders and conservation organizations to protect rare and endangered landscapes in the river valleys and bluffs along the upper Mississippi River from Rock Island to East Dubuque.

Lawrence will serve as the Natural Land Institute’s representative to the Blufflands Alliance, a four-state consortium of not-for-profit conservation organizations. The alliance has protected more than 14,800 acres in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The McKnight Foundation of Minnesota has provided funding to the Blufflands Alliance Partners for the past 10 years.

Lawrence earned a bachelor’s of science degree at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, with a major in conservation and a minor in land-use management. He was elected to the Benton, Wis., school board three years ago and is serving as president.

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