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Resources for Wisconsin Land Trusts

Gathering Waters offers learning opportunities, resources, and support for Wisconsin land trusts to develop core competencies and improve expertise on key conservation issues.

Land Trust Membership

Tools, expertise, and resources at your fingertips

Gathering Waters helps ensure Wisconsin land trusts have the tools, expertise, and resources they need to be strong and effective organizations.

We advocate for public policies and funding to support land conservation, and we promote the value of land trusts and land conservation across the state.

Membership benefits include technical support, advocacy expertise, and access to a statewide network of peers. Click here to learn more about member benefits and elements of membership.

All land trust members attest to Land Trust Membership Principles and are committed to pursuing sound operations defined by nationally agreed Land Trust Standards and Practices.

Read more about what vital initiatives your land trust’s organizational membership supports in 2024.

For information on how to become a land trust member, contact Meg Domroese.

Better Together

Our member land trusts make a critical difference in protecting special places in Wisconsin.

Together, we can accelerate the pace and scale of land conservation, adapt to emerging challenges, and defend against threats to protecting land in perpetuity.

In 2023, land trust organizational memberships supported these vital initiatives:

Wisconsin Land Trust Conference & other educational offerings

For the first time since 2019, we hosted a 2.5 day in-person conference. Peers joined to discuss the future of conservation funding in Wisconsin, inclusion in the outdoors, essential skills for success, and more!

Advocacy & research for land conservation funding

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program remains Wisconsin’s best source of conservation funding, but it also faces significant challenges in our state’s divisive political environment. We continued to lead the push for fixes to the program while supporting research into alternative conservation financing mechanisms.

Legal expertise and assistance

In 2022, we launched the Land Conservation Law Program, which offers legal services to land trusts and seeks to foster a community of practice of attorneys with expertise in land conservation in Wisconsin. We’ve continued to expand and develop the program.

GIS tools & resources

The GIS database of land trust holdings is available to all land trust members. In 2023, we rolled out new tools and data layers to help land trusts be more efficient and effective at identifying and targeting the greatest conservation needs and opportunities.

Membership Benefits

Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts provides technical assistance, advocates for public policies and funding that support land conservation, and fosters a community of practice to strengthen Wisconsin’s land trusts. A strong alliance benefits your organization and the land trust community across the state. As a land trust member, you have access to a variety of benefits, including:

Public Policy Advocacy & Government Relations

Access professional government relations staff & participation in a network of advocates supporting state & federal policies & programs that support land conservation.

Resources & Updates

Receive timely information on resources, training, & public policy through Currents, Gathering Waters’ technical e-bulletin for land trusts. Access GIS tools & sample policies & documents.

Peer-to-Peer Networking

Engage in network opportunities with peers & experts to share information and best practices.

Training & Technical Assistance

Tap into support for organizational development, conservation strategies, preparation for national accreditation, and more. Also, take advantage of member discounts to events & training programs.

Publicity

List your land trust on the Gathering Waters’ website in an interactive, online map, and in print materials. Promote your successes through our website, newsletter, and e-news. Participate in Wisconsin Land Trust Days.

Required Elements of Membership


  1. Current list of the board of directors with mailing addresses, emails, and phone numbers.
  2. Current list of staff (if applicable) with titles, emails, and phone numbers.
  3. Response to periodic surveys. Gathering Waters may request information about a land trust’s recent land protection efforts and current organizational structure to inform our planning and to demonstrate the scope and quality of land trust work in Wisconsin.
  4. Accreditation earned and maintained, OR a board-approved attestation to the membership principles for Wisconsin Land Trusts.  Note: For non-accredited land trusts, Gathering Waters’ staff may request additional documentation supporting the land trust’s commitment to the membership principles.
  5. Payment of annual membership dues, based on 1% (up to $2500) of your land trust’s operating expenses.

If you have questions about Land Trust Membership, please reach out to Meg Domroese, Director of programs and impact, at 608-251-9131 x12 or meg@gatheringwaters.org

WILandTrusts.org is the services branch of Gathering Waters, serving member land trusts across the state. For more information, please contact us.