Who We Are
Meet the team making it happen
The idea of a state-wide technical assistance center was born at the first Wisconsin Land Trust Conference in 1988. Representatives of about a dozen conservation organizations attended that meeting, and all conferees agreed that a permanent statewide network of land trusts would be beneficial.
During the early 1990s, a loose network of several state land trusts worked with the Wisconsin DNR and The Nature Conservancy to organize two more statewide conferences. That same informal group successfully authored a nonprofit conservation organization grant program as a part of the Wisconsin DNR’s Stewardship Fund. These efforts helped make Wisconsin a leader in public support for private conservation action, but fell short of the permanent technical assistance center envisioned by conservation leaders at the original 1988 conference.
Governor Thompson, along with other legislators, introduced legislation in 1994 to provide a grant to an organization established to assist land trusts in the state. Gathering Waters was the recipient of that grant, and was incorporated in June of 1994, receiving its tax-exempt status from the IRS in early 1995.
Today, Gathering Waters works to assist and build the capacity of its 40+ land trusts programs providing technical assistance, training, and continuing education. In addition to serving as a unified voice for Wisconsin’s land trust community and providing technical assistance on conservation issues, Gathering Waters promotes better public understanding and support for land trusts and encourages public policies that strengthen Wisconsin’s land and water conservation efforts.
Board of Directors
Land Trust Council
An advisory body to support the Wisconsin land trust community
The Land Trust Council informs Gathering Waters’ programs and initiatives. The leaders on the Council provide critical advice that keeps our services relevant, timely, and useful as we pursue our collective mission of protecting the places that make Wisconsin special.
Council participation is voluntary. Council members share ideas, serve as liaisons with land trust community members, and advise on Gathering Waters’ programs. The Council meets annually in person and periodically by teleconference.
Carol Abrahamzon, Chair
Mississippi Valley Conservancy
Driftless Area Land Conservancy
Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation
Ozaukee Washington Land Trust
American Farmland Trust
Land Conservation Law Program Advisory Council
The Land Conservation Law Program Advisory Council is a body of legal experts each with varying experience in conservation law. They assist and advise the director of the Law Program.
Partner, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP
Attorney at Law, Johns, Flaherty & Collins, S.C.
Retired Attorney, Law Office of Peter E. McKeever, LLC
Attorney at Law, Boardman Clark LLP
Retired Partner, Quarles & Brady LLP
Land Protection Projects Deputy Director, American Farmland Trust
Attorney at Law, Small Batch Law LLC
As an alliance, collaboration is inherent to who we are. Beyond our land trust members and the individuals listed above, we work regularly with a variety of partners to advance conservation in Wisconsin.