Special Services & Grants

These opportunities are available to Wisconsin land trusts by a periodic application process.  As a service to the land trust community we develop customized programming that promotes quality land conservation and fosters excellence.  We are able to heavily subsidize these programs and learning opportunities thanks to the generosity of our LEAP supporters, including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Peer Mentoring Program for Wisconsin and Michigan Land Trusts

The Peer Mentoring Program fosters relationships and advances learning and sharing opportunities within the land trust community. In addition to individual visits, there are group learning opportunities throughout the program.

The 2015-2016 program for staff at Wisconsin and Michigan land trusts includes Executive and Associate Directors, Land and Stewardship, and Development and Communications, and Community Conservation peer groups. Program participants applied and have made a commitment to the two-year program beginning in January 2015. However, some components of the program will be open to any interested individuals.

Gathering Waters partners with the Land Trust Alliance and Heart of the Lakes to offer this program that matches peers of similar experiences to learn from one another as a component of both ACE (Accelerating Conservancy Excellence) and LEAP (Land Trust Excellence & Advancement Program).

Services & Grants by application

Through the Land Trust Excellence & Advancement Program, we're pleased to offer grants to the Wisconsin land trust community for independent projects. This opportunity is open to all member land trusts on a competitive basis. Sign up for our technical e-bulletin, Currents, to get updates on new opportunities.

Periodically, we accept applications from land trusts on a competitive basis in the following categories:

  1. Guided assessment using Land Trust Standards & Practices as a guide.
  2. Mentoring services from the Land Trust Alliance and Gathering Waters to implement an element of Land Trust Standards & Practices. 
  3. Small grants ($1,000-$5,000) to be used to accomplish a needed activity that propels a land trust to a higher level of performance.

2013-2014 LEAP Grants included these exciting endeavors:

  • An endowment campaign for Baird Creek Preservation Foundation
  • A trailfinder mobile application for Bayfield Regional Conservancy
  • Board development for Glacial Lakes Conservancy
  • New membership software for Kettle Moraine Land Trust
  • A new website re-design for Northwoods Land Trust
  • New communications tools for West Wisconsin Land Trust
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