2014 Wisconsin Land Trust Retreat

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

In fall 2014 board and staff of our Wisconsin Land Trust members convened at the Green Lake Conference Center for our annual Land Trust Retreat. 

The 2014 retreat was a huge success! Twenty-five land trusts, plus partners, were represented at this networking and learning event.

Check out photos, the winning entries from the 2014 haiku contest, and the winning recipe of the dessert potluck!

You can also access some of the presentation materials and related resources
by clicking on corresponding links below.


Successes and Lessons in Accreditation    
MaryKay O’Donnell, Land Trust Alliance
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.  Followed by a group discussion with accredited colleagues. Download a PDF of the presentation.

New Software Developments for Land Protection and Stewardship
Caleb  Pourchot, Natural Heritage Land Trust and Mark Renz, UW-Madison
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. Some useful resources for weed tracking include UW-Extension Weed Science and Wisconsin First Detector Network.

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. Management strategies for dealing with invasives, including engaging volunteers through the Great Lakes Early Detection Network were discussed. Useful links for invasive plants information: WI DNR Invasive species fact sheets and photos, the Midwest Invasive Plant Network's Invasive Plant Control Database, and Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin.

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.
Check out Simon Sinek's TED Talk, Start with Why, for a provocative way of thinking about why you and your land trust do what you do.

Round Table 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

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. Download a PDF of land trust advocacy handouts and Stewardship talking points. Useful links include the Wisconsin Legislature and LTA's Ambassador Program.

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.

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.

Also, make sure to check out and share 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

Read Our Blog