For immediate release: November 19, 2021

The Indiana Audubon Society has announced the hiring of is new Operations Manager at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary.  Libby Keyes, of Tinley Park, IL will be continuing the history of conservation and stewardship on the state dedicated nature preserve located just outside of Connersville. 

Libby Keyes brings her experience in bird conservation and research, including migratory movements of owls and whip-poor-wills in the Indiana Dunes, as well as studying secretive marsh birds in wetlands around the state.  Libby will replace long-term managers, Carl and Amy Wilms, who are retiring at the end of the year.  The Operations Manager is responsible for the oversight of day-to-day operations and resides on the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary grounds with the resident caretaker. 

The Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary preserves over 700 acres of forests, wetlands, and prairie and was the gift of Alice Green Gray, who gave the initial 264-acre property to the Indiana Audubon Society in 1943 as a living memorial to her daughter Mary, who preceded her in death.  Congressman Finley H. Gray willed additional property to the society in 1947, bringing the total to more than 600 acres.  Gifts from members have allowed the acquisition of more property so that the Sanctuary now occupies more than 700 acres.

“Hoosiers locally and around the state have come to value Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary for the respite it provides among the hustle and bustle of everyday life,” said Brad Bumgardner, executive director.  “Libby Keyes is a perfect person to continue with that stewardship and carry on the tradition of bird conservation and education at Mary Gray.”   

To learn more about the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary and to search for programs and field trips, visit Indiana Audubon on the web at 


Media contact: Brad Bumgardner, Executive Director.  (219) 928-6905. [email protected]   


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