Douglas Conley, Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Douglas Conley, director of landscapes at Edsel & Eleanor Ford House leads the year-round care, preservation, and restoration of the 87 acres that comprise the estate’s nationally recognized landscape, which was designed by noted architect Jens Jensen.
Conley directs the presentation of the estate’s gardens and grounds and is an integral part of the team that develops innovative programs to provide greater access to and understanding of the landscape. Located along 3,000 feet of shoreline on Lake St. Clair, the estate includes a formal rose garden, perennial and annual gardens, and extensive meadow and wooded areas.
Conley comes to Ford House after serving as the director of The Gardens at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) for six years. While at SIUE, he had the honor of raising cultural and environmental awareness by hosting Discover the Gardens, an annual event focused on community outreach, designed specifically with families in mind.
Prior to joining SIUE, Conley worked as an assistant superintendent at Walnut Hills Country Club in East Lansing, Mich. and as a horticulturist at Dow Gardens in Midland, Mich.
Conley received a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in applied biology and an associate degree in applied science, ornamental horticulture from Ferris State University. He pursued his next level of education at the University of Delaware and graduated with a Master of Science with an emphasis in public horticulture from the prestigious Longwood Graduate Program.
His professional affiliations include American Public Gardens Association, Illinois Nurseryman’s association, Missouri Botanical Garden, The Nature Conservancy and Delaware Nature Society.