Ridges’ Director to Pursue Master’s in Public Health

After 14 years as executive director of The Ridges Sanctuary, Steve Leonard is leaving in August to pursue a master’s degree and career in public health, with a focus on global environmental health. Leonard said that although this was not an easy decision, he felt it was the right time to pursue his interest in public health and for The Ridges to take the next steps to accomplish its mission of land protection, environmental education and research.

During his tenure, Leonard managed constructing the Cook-Albert Fuller Nature Center in Baileys Harbor, completing an approximately one-third-mile ADA-accessible boardwalk, expanding education programs, initiating a long-term research project on native orchid populations and protecting an additional 200 acres of land.  

The Ridges’ board of directors has formed a search committee to begin hiring a new executive director. To learn more about The Ridges Sanctuary, including information on the open position, visit