Alumni Award Finalist

Genevieve Nowak

Director of Environmental Initiatives and Affairs, Belle Isle Conservancy

Detroit, MI, USA
Cohort: Points of Light, Seattle, 2017

Genevieve Nowak serves as Director of Environmental Initiatives and Affairs for the Belle Isle Conservancy, a nonprofit that supports Detroit’s 982 acres urban island park on the Detroit River; an international waterway shared by the U.S. and Canada. Described as Detroit’s “gem”, Belle Isle welcomes more than four million visitors each year, housing the oldest aquarium in North America and providing a scenic backdrop to cherished memories for generations of Michigan residents and families from all over the world.

In her role, Genevieve designed and oversees two successful volunteer programs, and created and manages the park’s award-winning anti-litter campaign, Keep Belle Isle Beautiful. Through this campaign, Genevieve engages the community and mobilizes volunteers in an effort to work at the local level, by reducing litter on Belle Isle, as well as the regional level, by being an active contributor to the global campaign of keeping our waterways free of plastic pollution.

As she builds upon her foundation of mobilizing volunteers for social and environmental impact, Genevieve also mobilizes countries and organizations as she provides vision and leadership to a newly formed Detroit River Binational Coalition. Through the work of this coalition, the region will hold the largest Detroit-Windsor one day cleanup event, Great Global Cleanup: Detroit River, on Saturday, April 25, 2020. Genevieve holds a Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Fine Art, both from Wayne State University in Detroit, and offers more than fifteen years’ experience in the nonprofit sector.