2018 Wisconsin Land Trust Conference

2018 Land Trust Conference Group Shot

Gathering Waters' 2018 Wisconsin Land Trust Conference brought together more than 80 land trust staff, board members, volunteers, partners, and industry experts to learn, network, exchange ideas, and have some good old-fashioned fun.

During the three-day event, held March 8 - 10, 2018, at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Onalaska, Wisconsin, conference participants:

  • Celebrated land conservation and had fun—including a competitive dessert potluck competition!
  • Participated in round-table discussions and workshops.
  • Networked with land-trust community peers.
  • Enjoyed a beautiful, guided hike through the Mathy Quarry, protected by Mississippi Valley Conservancy.
  • Discussed the future of public funding for land protection in Wisconsin and the advocacy roles Gathering Waters and land trusts must play in shaping it.

Check out photos from the conference, download the 2018 Conference Program, and access some of the presentations and related resources by clicking on the corresponding links below.

Financial Management for Land Trusts (presentation PDF)

Dana Chabot, Gathering Waters

Spend appropriately, report accurately, be innovative! Help your organization better manage its finances. Download the handouts for this session and access the Land Trust Accreditation Commission's new requirements for financial practices, released March 7, 2018.

Best Practices for Monitoring (presentation PDF)

Kevin Thusius, Ice Age Trail Alliance; Abbie Church, Mississippi Valley Conservancy; Jim Johannsen, Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (IL); Caleb Pourchot, LANDSCAPE

Achieve greater efficiencies, track the lay of the land, and enhance landowner relationships. Download practice elements for Conservation Easement Monitoring and Inspecting Land Trust Properties: documentation and addressing management issues. Additional Standards & Practices Guidance is available on the Land Trust Alliance's Learning Center (log-in required).

Where's the Fun in Promoting Your Land Trust? (tool kit for fun, interactive events)

Kathy Oppegard, Author/Coach/Speaker

Insight into using play as a way to ignite the fires of creativity and resourcefulness as we tackle the challenges we face as land trust advocates and staff. Kathy's book, Fool Willing: The Secret Power of Play to Engage Communities in Your Green Organization, is a playful and practical guide for your land trust to enhance your conservation effectiveness.

Policy, Advocacy, and the Future of Public Funding for Land Protection

Chris Danou and Mike Carlson, Gathering Waters

Your land trust has an important role to play in advocating for land conservation. Discussion of what advocacy means to your land trust, and guidance for communicating with candidates and elected officials.

Putting Tweety on Point: Birds as Conservation Catalysts

Craig Thompson, Wisconsin DNR

See what birds can do for growing membership, bolstering fundraising, and guiding land protection. Find out about building a bird conservation program at birdtrust.org and contact Craig for more information.

Effective Dashboards: A Catalyst for Good (presentation PDF)

David Calle and Deb Nett, Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust

Need an "at-a-glance" look at your current status, the goals you've achieved, and the objectives to complete in the future? You may want to consider implementing a dashboard. Start with a five-step process that will help you avoid frustration in the future.

Mark your calendars and save the date for the 2019 Wisconsin Land Trust Conference. We hope to see you on March 7 - 9, 2019, at the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake!


A very special thank you to our generous sponsors—including Mississippi Valley Conservancy, who co-hosted the reception and led the hike! This event would not have been possible without their support.

Presenting Sponsors

ATC logo

We Energies Logo

Lead Sponsor

Alliant Energy Foundation Logo



Land Trust Alliance logo


The Conservation Fund Logo



Dairyland Power Logo


Community Shares Logo

Mayes Wilson Logo


Wisconsin Wetlands Logo




Wegners CPAs logo

Maureen Kinney


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