Wisconsin’s Land Trust Retreat

Oct 16 - 18, 2014  •  Green Lake, WI  • 

Each year we invite board or staff of our Wisconsin Land Trust members to our annual Land Trust Retreat.  This fall, we'll convene at the Green Lake Conference Center for an unparalleled opportunity for learning, networking, and fun among peers and experts from around the state.  

This year's retreat was a huge success! Some 25 land trusts, plus partners, were represented. Presentation materials will soon be available by clicking on corresponding links below. Please check back soon for updates!

New software developments for land protection and stewardship 
Caleb  Pourchot, Natural Heritage Land Trust and Mark Renz, UW-Madison
Learn about new resources your land trust can use to track land protection and stewardship information. Provide feedback to software developers about what your land trust needs.

Successes and lessons in accreditation    
MaryKay O’Donnell, Land Trust Alliance
Join us for a short presentation describing the benefits of accreditation, the process of applying (including renewal), and certain troublesome practices your land trust will want to address sooner than later.  This will be followed by a group discussion with accredited colleagues.

Invasive plants:  Identification, mapping, and management 
Kelly Kearns, WI DNR and Tony Summers, UW-Madison
Invasive plants pose a challenge to land trusts working to meet land protection and management goals. Discuss management strategies for dealing with invasives, including engaging volunteers through the Great Lakes Early Detection Network.

Why Engage Community?
David Allen, Development for Conservation
Get at the heart of why, not just what and how land trusts are engaging with communities

Stewardship Program grants for land trusts
Pam Foster Felt, Wisconsin DNR
Policy Updates and Land Trust Advocacy
Mike Carlson, Gathering Waters and Bryan David, Land Trust Alliance
Discuss the latest policy developments and how your land trust can advocate for support in the policy arena

GIS Task Force Report
Dave Fodroczi, Kinnickinnic River Land Trust, and Mike Koutnik, Esri
An overview of the task force’s goals, results of the survey of land trusts’ use of mapping and GIS tools,
plus application demos.

We will soon have blogs available with the main take-aways from these group discussions:

  • The evolving role of development committees, David Allen, Development for Conservation
  • Making budgets easier, Dana Chabot, Gathering Waters
  • Is your land trust ready to set up an endowment fund?, Ruth Oppedahl, Natural Resources Foundation
  • Landowner engagement, Katie Beilfuss, Wisconsin Wetlands Association
  • UW-Extension: Supporting conservation planning, Aaron Thompson, Center for Land Use Education – UW-Stevens Point
  • Collaboration Challenge, Facilitated by Peter McKeever, MaryKay O’Donnell, Carolyn Waldron, and Sara Wilson Dynamic discussion of shared needs and opportunities and how we can work together to address these.

Check out Gathering Waters' promotional video, which was shared with retreat participants. It explains what land trusts are, how GW strengthens them and highlights three stories demonstrating the many ways land trusts are impacting the communies they serve.


A special thanks to our generous sponsors!





Ozaukee Washington Land Trust
River Revitalization Foundation


Peg Zappen & Pat Caffrey


Kenneth Bro
Mike Fiorio
Sally Overholt
Mike & Molly Strigel
Bur Zeratsky

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