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Sarah Surroz

Sarah Surroz is the Director of Lake County Programs at Openlands where she works with a wide variety of people on projects that protect and strengthen the resilience of our ecological and human communities. Sarah understands that Lake County features the state’s richest variety of ecological habitats and natural splendors and is grateful for its deep culture of land conservation. She directs our Lands in Harmony program, oversees operations of Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, advances open space preservation and management efforts in Lake County, and guides efforts within the Liberty Prairie Reserve. Sarah played a key role in passing four Lake County Forest Preserve referendums and has helped to craft land use plans and policies that now impact thousands of acres. She strives to guide people who seek to implement sound ecological projects and programs on the lands they each can influence, whether as a property owner, elected official, or conservation leader. Sarah is a collaborator on the Chicago Region Tree Initiative’s Oak Ecosystem Recovery Plan. Prior to joining Openlands, Sarah worked for Conserve Lake County, the Lake County Forest Preserve District, and the Lakes Management Unit of the Lake County Health Department. She served on the Board of Directors for Chicago Wilderness Magazine, the Advisory Committee for Lake County’s Green Infrastructure Model and Strategy, and various other planning efforts. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management and Biology from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.


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