Cadell attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for two years before transferring to the University of Louisville where she completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Pan-African Studies. She joined The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky in 2007 and continues to build on her professional accomplishments as a recent graduate of the organization’s Emerging Leaders Program. In addition to working at the Conservancy, Cadell and her husband Bret have adopted a little girl from Ethiopia.
Cadell does her part to make Kentucky a little greener by recycling, composting and collecting water in a rain barrel. She also uses eco-friendly products and has made several energy efficient updates to her home. Whenever possible, Cadell buys locally including at the farmer’s market and as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) member.
Nature.org: Have you always had an interest in conservation?
Cadell Walker: Yes! I grew up in the city when I was younger so I always loved getting away to enjoy the country life and the great outdoors. My family and I moved to the “country” when I was a teenager and that’s when I really fell in love with fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities.
Nature.org: How did your career path lead to working with The Nature Conservancy?
Cadell Walker: I was a member and supporter of the Conservancy before I came to work for the Kentucky Chapter. Prior to joining the staff in 2007 I spent more than a decade working for other great nonprofits including The United Way of Dane County, the Kentucky Humane Society, Community Health Charities and the Louisville Zoo. I enjoy philanthropy work and am thankful to play an active role in conserving Kentucky’s last great places!
Nature.org: What projects have your focus these days?
Cadell Walker: We have so many projects going on right now! It’s an exciting and challenging time for conservation in Kentucky. My fundraising efforts are currently focused on conservation and restoration work in the Big Rivers Corridor project in western Kentucky and at the Davis Bend Preserve in central Kentucky. I’m also looking for funds to complement the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s new Mississippi River Basin Initiative. Finally, I’m spending a lot of time on the Commonwealth Challenge, which aims to secure long-term, dedicated state funding for conservation in Kentucky.
Nature.org: What do you hope to tackle in the long-term?
Cadell Walker: The Nature Conservancy is the largest environmental nonprofit organization in the world. We have made remarkable strides for conservation across the globe and right here in the Commonwealth. Along those lines, my long-term goal is to make The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky a household name. I am proud to be a part of the Conservancy, we do great work and I would love for all Kentuckians to feel the same way.