Amy Henricksen Named Director of Philander Chase Conservancy

After serving as acting director since Jan. 1, Henricksen will continue preservation efforts by leading Kenyon’s pioneering land conservancy.

Amy Henricksen
Amy Henricksen.

Amy Henricksen, acting director of the Philander Chase Conservancy and founding steward of its Kokosing Nature Preserve, has been selected to lead the Kenyon land trust that is dedicated to preserving the rural character of the area surrounding the College.

Associated with the Conservancy since 2013, when she became its project coordinator, Henricksen is intimately familiar with all aspects of the organization’s operations. She facilitated the Conservancy’s successful first-time application for national accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2023 and became acting director on Jan. 1.

“I and the members of the PChase Board are delighted that Amy will be leading PChase's next phase of growth,” said Zali Win, Kenyon Class of 1984 and chair of the Philander Chase Conservancy Board of Trustees. “Amy's long and impactful history with PChase and her significant contributions to the development of Kokosing Nature Preserve, as well as her existing strong relationships with many of our conservation easement partners and members of the local community, will help guide PChase's continued success as we face the challenges of increased development.”

Founded in 2000 with a mission to protect the natural beauty and ecosystems surrounding Kenyon College, the Philander Chase Conservancy has worked with farmers, landowners, environmental groups and government agencies to protect the character of a five-mile radius around campus through conservation and agricultural easements. It is the only conservancy created by a college or university, and has protected nearly 6,000 acres of open spaces, agricultural lands, woodlands and riparian corridors.

“A unique sense of place is part of what makes Kenyon special, and protecting the natural beauty of the spaces around the College is essential to our mission,” Kenyon President Julie Kornfeld said. “Amy is an experienced and dedicated leader in this important work, and I am thrilled that she has agreed to step into this role.”

Through her previous work at the Conservancy, Henricksen has focused on creating and managing its Kokosing Nature Preserve, central Ohio’s first and only conservation burial ground offering a green burial option in a natural setting. She helped form it in 2015 on 23 acres of restored prairies and woodlands in Gambier.

“It is an honor to be chosen to serve the Conservancy and the College in this important role,” Henricksen said. “I look forward to working with the Conservancy’s board to build on the strong work of my predecessors, further protecting our rural setting, while continuing to grow relationships with our many valued partners.”

Henricksen — who lives in Mount Vernon with her husband, Chris, and their two children — joined Kenyon in 2004 as Phonathon program manager. She added the title of young alumni giving coordinator when she helped create the Alumni Leaders of Tomorrow program before joining the Conservancy. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Alma College in Michigan and a master’s degree in health administration from the Ohio State University.