Barb has lived full-time in Leelanau County since 1997 on property that her husband Gary Schultheiss had purchased in 1971. The 40 acre wooded property, which includes a drumlin and seasonal pond, is under Conservation Easement with the Leelanau Conservancy and is registered as certified bird habitat by Saving Birds Thru Habitat.
A love of nature gained from camping vacations to National Parks across the country with her family as a youth led to Barb’s degree in Physical Geography/Earth Sciences and a rewarding stint with the National Park Service researching private ownership and drawing cadastral plats for the acquisition of the Big Cypress National Preserve which protects the watershed for the Ten Thousand Islands region of Everglades National Park. An interest in computers later led to a job change and a 39-year career as Computer Programmer, Systems Analyst, IT Manager and Systems Architect.
In 2020 Barb and Gary extended their private nature preserve with the acquisition of an additional 37 acres along their north boundary. This new property contains the watershed for the seasonal pond, a cedar swamp, another drumlin, mature and transitional forest and open meadow. In the summer and fall they removed over 1,500 Autumn Olive (with many more to go!) and snow-seeded a small portion of the meadow with native prairie grass and forbs.
Barb stays busy in the tax season preparing tax returns as a VITA program volunteer through the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency and serves as the Database Administrator for Saving Birds Thru Habitat.