Land Trust Excellence & Advancement Program

LEAP, a partnership with the Land Trust Alliance, aims to provide coordinated and intensive services and support for Wisconsin land trusts whether large, small, staffed, or all-volunteer.  Through LEAP, we are strengthening individual land trusts, strengthening the fabric of Wisconsin's land trust community, advancing strategic, collaborative conservation, and preparing interested land trusts for Accreditation.

LEAP Universally-Available Services

LEAP Services by Application


Why LEAP? 

Gathering Waters and the Land Trust Alliance Midwest Program have worked in parallel to strengthen land trust work in Wisconsin for many years.  Through LEAP we can combine our complementary services and channel more financial and human resources to Wisconsin land trusts.

The LEAP model was crafted after thorough analysis of similar statewide efforts in Michigan, Maine, and Indiana – all states with similarly diverse land trust communities.  LEAP design and goals have been vetted by the Wisconsin Land Trust Council, an advisory body of land trust leaders from land trusts across Wisconsin. 

With input and insight from Wisconsin land trusts, Gathering Waters and the Alliance have been designing a LEAP framework since 2010.  Now, we are in the midst of executing it. 


How do land trusts benefit? 

Our goal is land trust excellence, but we recognize that each land trust must chart its own course.  We are designing and tweaking LEAP as we execute our programming to respond to the needs of the community.  We expect the program to evolve and are continuously requesting feedback on our services to Wisconsin land trusts.


How do I participate?    

We are creating programming in the form of trainings, Webinars, mentoring, coaching, and grants throughout the year.  Refer to the links above for our current opportunties.  Thanks to our generous LEAP supporters, we are able to provide these services at cost or, in many cases, far less.



Contact Mike Strigel or MaryKay O'Donnell

Thank you to the supporters of Wisconsin's

Land Trust Excellence & Advancement Program


$60,000 or more

McKnight Foundation

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


$15,000 - $59,999

John C. Bock Foundation

Dorothy and Gaylord Donnelley Foundation

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Wisconsin Energy Foundation


$10,000 - $14,999

Forest County Potawatomi Community Foundation

Terry & DiAnne Hatch


$5,000 - $9,999

Alliant Energy Foundation

Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation

Art Harrington

Eric Schumann


$1,000 - $4,999

Darrell Bazzell

Alice Godfrey

Christopher Hughes

Plum Creek Foundation

Dan Wilkening


under $1,000

Bill Berry & Nick Schultz

Peter & Joy Dohr

Nelson French

Kimberly Gleffe

Joy & Rob Gottschalk

Rita Hayen & Walt Boeshaar

Ellen Kwiatkowski

Tia Nelson

Ben & Sue Niemann

Barry Rogers

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