Trish Van Dusen, Assistant Director

Trish Van Dusen grew up on Old Mission Peninsula and has called Leelanau county home since the early 70s. She currently lives on Bass Lake with her husband, Peter, and dog, Rose. They have enjoyed the beauty of the lake for 30 years, where the same loons and sandhill cranes return annually to nest and raise young.

Trish helped operate the Lighthouse Coffee Shop with her mother, Irmgard Griffin, for 15 years. She credits her mothers good cooking and influence for her own love of cooking, and for what eventually turned into a catering career. Along with her interest in the food industry is a love of working with children, which led her to a position with the Montessori Childrens House in Traverse City. There she worked for over 16 years and helped develop the “Della Terra” program—a hands-on “kitchen classroom” education for K-6th grade students, combining vegetable gardening with food nutrition and preparation.

When not working at the Discovery Center, Trish enjoys time outdoors hiking, xc-skiing, and sailing. She feels fortunate to live in such a beautiful area, experiencing the change of seasons and the bird migration of the region. She and her family also enjoy part of the winter in southern Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico. Together they have created quite an extensive birding list over the years! 

Trish looks forward to learning more about songbirds, their habitat needs, and working with Saving Birds Thru Habitat!