Berrien Conservation District

Managing your Natural Resources

Monthly Board Meeting is Monday, December 13th, at 12 noon.  Location: National Grape Co-op Office, 8980 US 31,  Berrien Springs, MI 49103

If you wish to ask a question of a board member or manager:

Board Chair/Director, Brandy Wise-Tenter, email

Treasurer/Director, Ryan Postema, email

Director, Bette Pierman, email

Director, Kait Lemon, email

Director, Terry Holloway, email

Manager, Nancy Carpenter, 269-471-9111 x3 or email 


Thank you to those who joined us for our virtual annual meeting on February  18th. Kait Lemon and Bette Pierman won the election for board of directors. We thank Alan Martin for his service serving on the board for  the last six years. 


Kait Lemon was born and raised in southwest Michigan and has recently moved back to the area to work on her family's fruit farm and vineyard.  She is an avid gardener and loves to grow unique heirloom varieties.  A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Kait holds a bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resources Management, and is currently enrolled in the forest carbon graduate program at Michigan State University.

Kait spent the last three years of her natural resources career working as a field and program coordinator for the Idaho Conservation Corps, overseeing a variety of conservation crews for the state.  She has experience working as conservation crew leader in Oregon and Washington, as a wilderness ranger with the US forest service in Colorado, and as a field biologist in Montana, Hawaii and Michigan.  She is excited to return to her home state and use her conservation experience to better the coastal and local ecosystems of Berrien County.  

Alan Martin has been a Berrien Conservation District Director for six years and is running for the position again. 

Alan Appreciates having Grown Up On a Small Farm, is Thankful for Having a Good Supportive Family/Wife & is Proud Of her & her works as a Public School Teacher Now in Berrien County.
Alan earned a Bachelor Of Science Degree From C.M.U. and has taught 
Biology & Biomass Conversion at J.E.I. He lives in Buchanan Township and is Honored to Work as Caretaker at Camp Madron where his Dad was once a Boy Scout and he works with and is passionate about the Environment, it’s Native Plants, Trees & Community and is always willing to learn & share his knowledge.


Bette Pierman works to protect and value our environment after retiring from careers as a public educator and project manager/technical writer in the private sector.

Her environmental action began with the fight to protect Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor, Michigan. That work progressed to involvement with the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan’s petition drive while at the same time becoming a founding member of Michigan Safe Energy Future-Shoreline Chapter (MSEF-SH) which provides public education on the importance of sustainable, renewable energy. It has continued with community cleanup activities on the Paw Paw River and along Ox Creek and with the Alliance for the Great Lakes Beach Cleanup at Jean Klock Park.

Currently, she serves on the board of the Two Rivers Coalition  (TRC), acting chair of MSEF-SH, member of Bangor-South Haven Heritage Water Trail (B/SH HWTA), member of The Friends of the St. Joseph River, member of South West Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC), member of the Chikaming Open Lands (COL), member of Sarett Nature Center, active volunteer with Van Buren Conservation District (VBCD), committee member planning for the Paw Paw River Water Trail, member of the Michigan Sierra Club, and member on an advisory board with an upcoming project on Ox Creek with the South West Michigan Planning Commission (SWMPC) and TRC. She is also a member of the Michigan Democratic Party Rural Caucus working to educate, protect and preserve the agriculture community for a future generation. She kayaks on area rivers and lakes whenever she has the opportunity and enjoys hikes in many of the Southwest Michigan nature preserves and parks.

Bette’s interest in agriculture began with time spent with her grandfather on his area farm. She currently enjoys providing part-time care throughout the year for two Arabian horses when their owner travels.

Due to the pandemic, USDA service centers have instituted locked door policies. Since the Conservation District is housed in the USDA building we have to follow USDA guidelines. Public access is by appointment only at this time.  Please direct Conservation District inquires to the manager at or call 269-471-9111 x3. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We appreciate your patience during this time.

2017 Berrien County Plat Books are available at our office! Reduced to $24.99

We accept volunteers for programs and fundraisers.


Interested in future workshops and programs?

Click here to edit text

Interested in learning about MAEAP Verification?

Click here to edit text


Local farmers finding ways to make crops and environment 'greener' by adding Water Control Structures to their drain tile. 

The Berrien Conservation District was very excited to invite WSBT's Danielle Kennedy out to interview Patrick Freehling of Baroda on Water Control Structures and their benefits to crop production and water quality!  Click on the link to view the interview:  (click on the white circle in the center of the corn to start the video after clicking the link)

Update 5/10/19 - Patrick Freehling passed away unexpectedly the morning of May 2, 2019 due to an accident. Our thoughts and prayers have been with his family and friends in this difficult time.