2018 Land Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration

Land Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration

September 20, 2018 • Monona Terrace, Madison, WI • 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

The Land Conservation Leadership Awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments of individuals, policymakers, land trusts, and other groups who work to protect the places that make Wisconsin special. The awards honor the power of committed citizens and offer inspiring examples of conservation success.

During the event at the Monona Terrace in Madison, guests took part in a silent auction, enjoyed an appetizer buffet, desserts, and a complimentary beverage, followed by a cash bar, which was open during the event.

Guests had the opportunity to hear from our 2018 Award Winners. 

Conservationist of the Year – Pat Caffrey of Trempealeau has been an integral part of the conservation community in Wisconsin for more than 40 years. Pat helped set up many local conservation organizations. With his guidance, Mississippi Valley Conservancy transformed from an all-volunteer organization to an accredited, staffed land trust, with a nine-county service area. He consistently brings his skills, passion, professionalism, and knowledge to everything he does. He leads the charge for conservation through environmental education and his ability to bring individuals and groups together.

Harold "Bud" Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award – Jan Zimmermann of Madison has been a devoted conservationist in both the public and private sectors for 35 years. Jan was a strong advocate for the passage of Dane County's $30 million Conservation Fund Referendum, served on land trust boards, and developed creative approaches to secure revenue and implement land acquisition around the state. Jan has helped permanently protect lands for Dane County, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Greenseams Milwaukee, and Town of Dunn farms—a legacy for Wisconsin residents and visitors for generations. 

Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation – Jimmy VandenBrook of Mount Horeb works to find solutions to conserve valuable land and water resources and address some of the most challenging issues facing agricultural and natural resources in Wisconsin. Since retiring from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Jimmy has served as the Executive Director of Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association. Among other things, he created a task force that conducted a two-year, in-depth study that will provide guidance and direction for working land conservation efforts in the future. Jimmy provided complimentary copies of his published study at the event.

Land Trust of the Year – Waukesha County Land Conservancy (WCLC) began as an all-volunteer organization in 1992, safeguarding Wisconsin's natural treasures through the acquisition and protection of environmentally significant land and water. Since then, WCLC has protected more than 2,900 acres, is working to restore a 52-acre Nature Preserve on the Mukwonago River to a high-functioning wetland, and developed a successful internship and volunteer program that engaged over 75 college student volunteers in over 7,000 hours over two and a half years.

We're looking to the future

We are fortunate to have many land conservations heroes in Wisconsin. If you know of a person or an organization deserving of a Land Conservation Leadership award, take note. We will start calling for nominations for the 2019 awards in the spring.

In the meantime enjoy images from the 2018 event and learn more about the winners and their accomplishments.

 A special thank you to our generous sponsors!

Lead Sponsors

Alliant Energy Foundation Logo

Forest County Potawatomi Logo

MG&E Logo

Land Legacy Sponsors 

Althea Dotzour Photography

Celebrations Entertainment

Kristine Euclide & Douglas Steege

Schreiber GR Group

Walter A. Meanwell & Jean D. Meanwell, in honor of Jan Zimmermann

Land & Water Guardians

Gary Werner & Melanie Lord, in honor of Jan Zimmermann, Pat Caffrey

Pure Sweet Honey Farm, in honor of Jimmy VandenBrook


Stewardship Supporters

Bill Berry & Nick Schultz, in honor of Jan Zimmermann, Jimmy VandenBrook, Pat Caffrey, Waukesha County Land Conservancy 

Bill Lunney & Judie Pfeifer Family Fund for Parks and Natural Resources

Carl & Barbara Schwartz

Carla Wright

Development for Conservation, LLC

Door County Land Trust

Fay U. Amerson, in honor of Jimmy VandenBrook, Waukesha County Land Conservancy

Jan Zimmermann

Jim Welsh & Kevin Lee

Judy F. Babcock

Laura Hicklin

Law Office of Peter E. McKeever, LLC

Levi & Janet Wood

Lew & Vicki Posekany

Lyon Family Fund, in honor of Jimmy VandenBrook

Marcia MacKenzie & Jerry Borseth

Marjie Tomter

Mary & Roy Thilly

Mike & Barbara Wollmer

Pat Leavenworth, in honor of Jimmy VandenBrook

Peter & Joy Dohr

Peter A. & Sharon A. Peshek

Philip A. Hardacre

Randy & JoAnn Hoffman

Swamplovers Foundation

Wegner CPA's


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