Mary McConnell is the State Director for the Indiana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and has been with the Conservancy since 1992. During her tenure she has been actively engaged in various land protection activities including acquisitions, land use strategies, partnership building, dealing with local, state and federal governmental agencies and helping to promote sound conservation practices in Indiana and beyond. She was named state director in 1999.
In 2017, the Indiana Chapter celebrated the protection of its 100,000th acre in Indiana. As state director, Mary oversaw many of the projects that led to this milestone. Working with its partners and with financial help from its many supporters, the Conservancy has protected 100,000 acres of irreplaceable Hoosier forests, wetlands and prairie.
In 2010, the Indiana Chapter moved into the Efroymson Conservation Center in downtown Indianapolis. The building started as Mary’s vision to be the first office building in Indiana built to the highest green building standards—LEED Platinum. The building is a showcase of what is possible in environmental sustainability.
Mary served on the Bicentennial Commission and has served and been an active member for both the Indiana Land Resources Council since its inception until just recently and on the Project Committee for the Indiana Heritage Trust and now on the President Benjamin Harrison Conservation Trust.
A passion of Mary’s is to reconnect kids to nature. From that passion came her vision for the Children of Indiana Nature Park (Wayne County, Centerville, IN), which was created in Indiana’s bicentennial as a gift to all Hoosier kids. All K-12 students in Indiana can visit www.ilovemyland.org and download a deed to their very own piece of the Children’s Park.