On Oct. 25, the Philander Chase Conservancy (PCC) released its 2019-2020 annual report. The Conservancy, whose stated goal is to preserve the rural character of the area around the College, used the report to highlight the accomplishments of the past year, introduce projects for the coming year and give a voice to student interns within the organization.
The report began with statements from PCC Board Chair Zali Win ’84 and Managing Director Lisa Schott ’80. Win’s statement discussed the ways in which the Conservancy has engaged in financial outreach through its correspondence with Columbus-based marketing agency Fahlgren Mortine; Schott’s statement focused on the links between conservation, mental health and education.
The Kokosing Nature Preserve, a Conservancy program focused on green burial described the year as one of many “firsts.” Green burial is a process in which the deceased are not embalmed and are interred using only biodegradable materials.
“We have been working hard through our outreach efforts to provide education about green burial and to inform those interested in green burial that Kokosing Nature Preserve is an ideal setting,” Project Coordinator Amy Henricksen said in a statement to the Collegian. “As a result, more people are choosing to make Kokosing Nature Preserve their final resting place.”
The increase in interments has set new precedents, such as the Preserve’s first military burial. Hendricksen stressed that these precedents are made possible by the publicity generated through publications such as the annual report.
“One of our primary goals is to continue to inform and educate students, alumni and the local community about the important work that we are doing,” she said. “Our Annual Report is one important tool that we are using to help spread the word.”
In addition to the faculty statements, the report also included sections by interns Alex Hoffman ’20 and Jayne Gelman ’22, who expressed similar sentiments about education and outreach.
“We basically came up with a marketing goal to raise awareness about Philander Chase [Conservancy] in the community and with students,” Hoffman said. “We developed a blog called A Knox County Almanac [in which] we’re working on writings and reflections on why the land is special.”
The Almanac is among a number of new initiatives by which the Conservancy seeks to engage with Kenyon’s student body.
“The growth over the past year has been fantastic,” Gelman said. “It’s great to see more recognition amongst the school, [with the Conservancy] becoming more of an ingrained figure of the college and what they offer in terms of environmental programs.”
Many of the Conservancy’s future plans involve the further strengthening of bonds with the local community.