Restoring a Connection to Nature Through Habitat Renovation
Lauren Sullivan grew up in suburban America, preferring to observe nature on TV from the safety of her couch rather than playing in her backyard or park. However, after several taxonomy college classes, her distant interest quickly converted into a cause close to her heart and set her on a path to educate and guide future stewards of the land.
Once Lauren focused her calling on habitat restoration, she became a natural leader, organizing programs for fellow students to plant 10,000 trees with the Nature Conservancy and directing fellow technicians in the Corridor Project to investigate how habitat corridors affect conservation efforts. She then began her Ph. D program at Iowa State University studying plant community ecology, where she continued her environmental leadership with the Women in Science and the Environment program.
Lauren has been keeping tabs on a five-acre cornfield, which is located in Ames, Iowa. Her environmental vision is to return this field back into native prairie land in order to increase biodiversity and improve water quality. Even with the help of volunteers, implementing such a restoration project required significant investment of labor and materials upfront, from seeds, to fencing, to installation equipment.
But with the help of her Toyota TogetherGreen Fellowship and the involvement of Iowa State English Department students and staff, this vision became a reality.