Land Conservation Leadership Awards

Each year, Gathering Waters recognizes individuals and organizations that have invested their time and talents to protect Wisconsin’s land, water, and wildlife through our Land Conservation Leadership Awards. 

The awards are our way of honoring and thanking conservation leaders for their dedication to land conservation in Wisconsin. 

Meet the 2024 award winners!

Award winners are celebrated in their communities throughout the year. 

Find a list of past award winners and get answers to frequently asked questions below.

Award Winners

Meet the award winners

Learn more about the winners of the Land Conservation Leadership Awards!

We are grateful to these individuals for their unwavering dedication to land conservation!

Award Categories

Harold " Bud" Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award

Recognizes a committed conservation professional or volunteer who has devoted their time, talents, and energy in support of land preservation over their lifetime to permanently safeguard Wisconsin’s natural treasures.​

Land Legacy award

Recognizes individuals, families, or organizations whose extraordinary generosity and philanthropic leadership has significantly benefited land conservation in Wisconsin.

Working Lands Preservation Award

Recognizes individuals or organizations that exhibit extraordinary commitment to the preservation of Wisconsin’s working lands.

Land Trust Professional of the Year

Recognizes a land trust staff member that demonstrates commitment to a land trust through leadership and completion of initiatives or projects that support and enhance a land trust’s success.

Land Trust Volunteer of the year

Recognizes a land trust volunteer (including board members) that demonstrates commitment to supporting and serving a land trust through leadership, pursuits, projects, and partnerships that further a land trust’s goals.

Submit a Nomination

Submit your nomination online, by email, or by snail mail.

We encourage you to nominate individuals, families, organizations, or yourself!

Your nomination packet should include a completed Nomination Form, at least one Letter of Support, and any additional supporting materials you wish to include (optional). Find detailed instructions here.

If you need assistance or have questions about any of the information on this page, please reach out to Amanda Jutrzonka, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, at 608-251-9131 x11 or

Portrait of Amanda Jutrzonka

If you need assistance or have questions about any of the information on this page, please reach out to Amanda Jutrzonka, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, at 608-251-9131 x11 or

Online Nomination

Submit a digital nomination through an online form.

Download Nomination Documents

Send these documents through email or snail mail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gathering Waters presents the Land Conservation Leadership Awards to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions of individuals and organizations working to protect Wisconsin’s special places.

We encourage you to nominate an individual, a family, an organization, or yourself during the open nomination period.

The five award categories are: Land Trust Professional of the Year, Land Trust Volunteer of the Year, Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award, Land Legacy Award, and Working Lands Preservation Award

During the nomination period, you can email your submission to, submit online, or mail your nomination packet to:

Gathering Waters 
211 S. Paterson St. Suite 270
Madison, WI 53703

The nomination packet should consist of a completed nomination form and a letter of support or detailed resume/CV. It is optional to include additional supporting materials.

The call for nominations typically opens in January and closes in March.

No. An award nominee may be any individual, organization, or group that has dedicated their energy or time to forwarding the cause of conservation in Wisconsin.

Absolutely! You can nominate yourself or your organization.

Yes, and we encourage this! Several people or groups may be involved in the nomination. However, only one person can submit the nomination form, letter, and any additional materials. That person will be designated as the primary contact.

If more than one person or group is involved in the nomination, each should offer unique information about the nominee to create a well-rounded nomination and avoid redundancies.  

A Selection Committee reviews the nomination packets and meets to discuss the merits and accomplishments of each nominee relative to the suggested award. Selection Committee members receive the nomination packets 1 to 2 weeks in advance to allow ample time to review each candidate. 

The Selection Committee is usually made up of 4 to 6 people, including Gathering Waters' Executive Director, at least one Gathering Waters’ board member, a Gathering Waters’ at-large member, and a Land Trust Council member. 

The Selection Committee typically meets in April and a public announcement of the winners is made in May. 

Shortly after the Selection Committee meeting, Gathering Waters' staff will contact each person who nominated an award winner to let them know their nominee was selected. At that time, the nominator will be asked if they would like to contact the winner or if they would like Gathering Waters to notify the winner.

Nominators who submitted nominations that were not selected to receive an award will also be contacted at this time. 

Award recipients will not be publicly announced until all winners and non-winners have been contacted.

Gathering Waters presents the awards to each individual winner at a time and location determined to be best for the winner and their nominator. Typically, the presentations take place at local public or private events in each winner’s community throughout the summer and fall. 

Each winner receives a framed award certificate and a physical award that can be displayed in their home or office. In recent years, the award has been a nature-themed handmade vase.

If you have any questions about the awards, please email Amanda at or 608-251-9131 Ext. 11.