Kelly Hilyard is a former program assistant for the Academy’s Climate and Energy Initiative. She has twenty years of experience working on sustainability projects as an organic farmer, landscape architect, and, most recently, as a LEED AP+ project manager in the green building industry. Kelly holds a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Chicago, and an MLA from the University of Texas-Austin School of Architecture.
During her farming years, Kelly studied organic farming and food issues at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she received a certificate of ecological horticulture and spent a year teaching apprentices organic growing methods. From this experience, Kelly gained a deep interest in the social aspects of our food system and the intersection between science, culture, and social justice. She has worked on large ranches in California and Texas growing olives, vegetables, fruit, and tending goats.
After moving to Madison ten years ago, she has worked primarily in the design field managing eleven LEED green building certifications in Madison, Beloit, and Menomonie. Today, Kelly is an active member of the Middleton community serving on the city’s Conservancy Lands Committee. She is a founding member of the Middleton Area Public Lands Endowment board and also serves as an advisory board member on Edgewood College’s Social Innovation and Sustainability Leadership graduate program where she was a Fellow in 2013. In her free time Kelly enjoys traveling, playing basketball, farming her front yard, and riding with the kids through Pheasant Branch Conservancy on her cargo bike.