Amy Lefringhouse serves as Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy Educator for communities in Adams, Brown, Pike, Hancock, and Schuyler counties. West-central Illinois offers so many natural gifts to ponder, enjoy, and explore – the changing seasons, two major river networks that mark the borders and are the very heartbeat of the area, and an unfathomable amount of flora and fauna with which we coexist. From the tiniest speck of soil to the stars shining above, Amy is passionate about revealing these natural wonders to local communities.
As a community partner, Amy serves area college students teaching natural resources, wildlife, and sustainable and renewable energy courses for John Wood Community College at the new Orr Multipurpose Agriculture Facility. The more than 400-acre site also houses the University of Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center with grassland and prairie plots as well as a stocked pond.
Early in her career, Amy worked for several natural resource agencies in the Midwest including helping to develop educational materials at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and performing fish and aquatic vegetation studies on the Illinois River for the Illinois Natural History Survey. She also assisted with research for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on oak savannah prairies at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge as well as waterfowl research at Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge in Winona, MN.
Most recently, Amy was Executive Director at Gardner Camp, a youth outdoor education facility. Amy worked with Illinois Master Naturalist volunteers to educate thousands of youth and adults on topics such as wildlife management, wetland ecology, and outdoor recreation.
As an Extension Educator, Amy inspires residents to further their knowledge of the natural world and serve as specialty volunteers through the Illinois Master Naturalist training program.
A native of west-central Illinois, Amy studied Environmental Science at Illinois College and has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Planning and Management from University of Illinois at Springfield. She is a member of the Environmental Education Association of Illinois and a member of the Illinois 4-H Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Task Force.