John Mitchell is the founder and president of the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy. He and Bob Ball founded the CWC with the hope of enhancing public access to the Chippewa River and to supplement public recreational land protection in Isabella County. The organization sat as an empty organizational shell until the spring of 1994 when several individuals independently came to John with the idea of a not-for-profit organization to protect recreational lands and wildlife habitat. Suddenly there was critical mass to proceed. Within a year the first project was completed, the McNeel Preserve along the Chippewa River adjacent to Deerfield Park. John served as day-to-day manager on a part-time volunteer basis until 2004. Expectations were low. He thought that the organization might be able to protect 40 acres or so, every 10 years. Over 50 projects and 6 square miles later the CWC is stronger than ever, professionally managed, and nationally accredited. The CWC and all it has protected is a gift to future generations in this community. John is honored to be part of it.