The 9th Annual Land Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration was another wonderful evening recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of individuals, policy makers, and land trusts who are working to protect the places that make Wisconsin special.
More than 300 people registered for this year's event, setting an attendance record for the second year in a row.
The Land Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration was an excellent evening for Wisconsin's conservation leaders to come together and celebrate each others' successes.
Guests bid on items in the silent auction throughout the event. Attendees took home some great items and all proceeds benefited Gathering Waters.
Gathering Waters Conservancy's Executive Director, Mike Strigel, got the program started.
Ozaukee Washington Land Trust had staff and board on hand to accept their award for Land Trust of the Year. OWLT is one of Wisconsin's most productive and innovative land trusts. To date they've protected nearly 5,000 acres of land in two of Wisconsin's fastest growing counties while engaging young and old alike in education and management activities that serve as a model for all land trusts.
2011 Policy Maker of the Year, Kathleen Falk, made a lasting impact in her 26 years of public service. Her work as Dane County Executive and Wisconsin Public Intervenor advanced our government’s investment in the permanent protection and preservation of the places that make Wisconsin special.
Joel and Ryan Nilsestuen presented the first ever Rod Nilsestuen Awards for Working Lands Preservation to Alan Sweeney and Jim Matson. This award honors their father, Rod Nilsestuen’s, legacy as a longtime Wisconsin agriculture, cooperative and conservation leader.
Alan Sweeney accepted the Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation. These awards are given to individuals or organizations that exhibit extraordinary commitment to the preservation of Wisconsin’s working lands. Alan is a farmer from Rock County, has been a leader in developing the county's PACE Program, serves as a County Board Supervisor, and chairs the county's PACE Program Committee.
Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation winner, Jim Matson, with Gathering Waters' Board President, Christopher Hughes, and Executive Director, Mike Strigel. Jim was a driving force within the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on the Working Lands Initiative. Jim recently retired after 36 years of service, including 28 as chief legal counsel.
Elward Engle received the Harold "Bud" Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award for his work at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This award honors outstanding achievement and commitment to protection of Wisconsin’s natural resources. It also serves as an ongoing tribute to Bud Jordahl, one of Wisconsin’s pioneers in private land conservation.
Thank you to everyone for making this year's celebration a success! We hope that you will join us next year on Sept. 27, 2012 to honor next year's deserving recipients.