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Dr. Susan Emmerich helped score a major victory for the Lake Katherine Nature Preserve when the Palos Heights city council unanimously approved her proposal to subsidize nearly $130,000 of its budget while the Preserve seeks other means of support. 

Emmerich, an adjunct biology professor at Trinity who once served as an environmental consultant to the United Nations, sought the aid from the city to allow time for Lake Katherine to secure funding through grants, sponsorships, and donations. The 158-acre preserve, stretching along two miles of the Calumet-Sag Channel, had been sustained for the past 17 years mainly by tax incremental financing, which ended in December.

"Lake Katherine needs to diversify its donor base and raise funds from additional sources," she said. "I'm working with the Friends of Lake Katherine and city officials, and I wanted the city to give us time to find those resources to build a stable financial foundation."

Trinity received a grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation through Illinois Campus Compact last fall to engage in cooperative community work. President Steven Timmermans chose to partner with Lake Katherine to help keep it open. Students from the College began working in the Preserve's clubhouse to handle administrative responsibilities and lead tours of the facility.

Senior Kate Dykstra (Highland, Indiana) and junior Amanda Voogt (Orland Park, Illinois), business majors who participate in the College's Small Business Institute, will assist the Friends of Lake Katherine in raising public awareness and developing a marketing campaign for the Preserve. They will create a survey for the Palos Heights business and residential communities this spring to determine their perceptions about the Preserve.

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