La PORTE — A resident of La Porte will be among the people heading up the Shirley Heinze Land Trust.

The Board of Directors of Shirley Heinze Land Trust recently announced the election of three new board members to three-year terms.

Tom Cera has worked as an executive at several integrated steel plants and was responsible for environmental stewardship and operations. He is currently an executive consultant. He also serves as board president of the Charter School of the Indiana Dunes, and is a leadership team member of the Friends of Marquette Park. Cera is a resident of Gary.

Christine Livingston is assistant director at Indiana Dunes Tourism. She also serves as a board member of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, an advisory board member of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant program, and is a committee member of the Calumet Collaborative. She was previously employed at Save the Dunes as water program director, where she worked with communities within the Lake Michigan watershed to protect water quality. Livingston is a resident of La Porte.

Spero Valavanis is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified architect with Shive-Hattery in Valparaiso, where sustainability is a core value of his practice. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Porter County Community Foundation, is a member of the American Institute of Architects/National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, and is a Horizon Bank director. Valavanis is a resident of Valparaiso.

According to the Shirley Heinze Land Trust, since 1981 the organization has protected, restored and maintained northwestern Indiana’s significant natural communities, including tallgrass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal flatwoods, dune-and-swale, woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, bogs, and riparian habitat. More than 2,500 acres in Lake, Porter, La Porte and St. Joseph counties have been preserved for the public’s benefit.

Shirley Heinze said its nature preserves feature significant scenic and ecological value, and most are open to the public for hiking and enjoying nature. Six of its properties have been dedicated to the people of Indiana as state nature preserves. The organization also works to educate people of all ages to appreciate the importance of land conservation, and to experience the natural wonders of this unique region.

For more information on the work and nature preserves of Shirley Heinze Land Trust, visit www.heinzetrust.org, call 219-242-8558, or access its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/heinzetrust.

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