Groundswell Program Staff

Jessica Vander Ark

Jessica Vander Ark, Groundswell Manager

Jessica Vander Ark earned her Bachelor's in Group Science & Geology, with elementary and 6th through 8th grade science certification at Grand Valley State University and has more than 15 years of experience as an educator, coach, and green team leader. Prior to joining Groundswell, she served as the Director of Environmental Education at West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) where she expanded their environmental educational programs such as Teach for the Watershed and Zero Waste in Landfill. Jessica lives with her husband and children in Spring Lake.

Office Address: 356 DeVos Building C

Phone: (616) 331-6804

Email: [email protected]


Mara Spears, Groundswell Program Specialist

Mara Spears graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Communication Studies, a minor in Environmental Studies, and a Sustainable Food Systems Certificate. Mara has worked with kids for most of her life, and has been volunteering and working with students in the Grand Rapids area since 2016. Before joining Groundswell, she served as the Sustainability Coordinator for the Michigan State University Sustainability Office. She is thrilled to be working at her Alma Mater and investing her time and passion into West Michigan. She lives with her fiancé on the Grand Rapids West Side, with their two cats and a whole lot of plants.

Office Address: 354 DeVos Building C

Phone: (616) 331-6706

Email: [email protected]

Page last modified December 7, 2022