Kettle Moraine Land Trust is looking for your ideas! We are asking for help to identify important land conservation sites and environmental programs for Walworth County. Conservation efforts are more successful when people share common goals and work together. Ensuring clean water, protecting agriculture and open space, providing access to nature areas and maintaining important wildlife habitat are goals common to many communities and the Kettle Moraine Land Trust.
In order to understand local ideas and opinions about land conservation and environmental challenges, we need your help. Please complete the Advancing Conservation Survey. It will only take a few moments and your opinion matters. Survey information will be used to prioritize conservation sites, environmental education and protection programs offered by the Kettle Moraine Land Trust.
MULTI-STATE CONSERVATION NETWORKING – CLIFF DWELLERS RECEPTION A BIG SUCCESS!
Gathering Waters Conservancy joined The Kettle Moraine Land Trust to host a joint reception on May 2 to connect with our Illinois based supporters and explore avenues for land conservation in southern Wisconsin. The venue was The Cliff Dwellers Club which overlooks Grant Park from South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL. This location, across the street from The Art Institute of Chicago, affords wonderful views of the Chicago Lakefront and unparalleled views of Millennium Park. The setting afforded great camaraderie and resulted in a substantial amount of networking by the forty participants.
Goals and initiatives for 2013 and beyond were briefly outlined by Mike Strigel, Executive Director, Gathering Waters, Jerry Peterson, President, Kettle Moraine Land Trust and guest, Melinda Pruett-Jones, of Chicago Wilderness. Of particular interest were the first Walworth County Park proposed along the White River, south of Lyons, and the new federally designated Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge straddling the Illinois-Wisconsin Border. Both these initiatives are extremely important for our area and offer wonderful opportunities to become involved in the activities that will take place. Walworth County is on the threshold of significant conservation and recreation measures, but it needs your interest and support.
The immediate consensus regarding the evening’s joint reception was, “Let’s do this again!” Well, there is certainly no problem with that, so we look forward to seeing you in Chicago in Spring 2014. A huge THANK YOU to our congenial host and KMLT Director Walker C. Johnson.
KETTLE MORAINE LAND TRUST RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION!
Accreditation Awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
For over a dozen years the Kettle Moraine Land Trust in Walworth County has assisted landowners and communities to conserve the lands they love. Now, the Kettle Moraine Land Trust has been awarded the national seal of land trust excellence by an independent commission - the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Accredited land trusts have met national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.
Sue Heffron, a board member for the Trust, expresses how important achieving accreditation is: "We learned that the steps to protecting and preserving land are not trivial, and must be done correctly. By achieving the seal of excellence through national land trust accreditation, we embrace the serious work of permanently preserving important lands in our community." Operating with nonprofit excellence is increasingly important as Kettle Moraine Land Trust increases its pace of conservation work in Walworth County.
New Preserve in Northeastern Walworth County:
The newest Kettle Moraine Land Trust property is located a stone's throw from Lake Beulah on a hilltop with a sweeping view of the Lake's sparkling waters. Through the Wisconsin DNR's Stewardship Grant program, the Kettle Moraine Land Trust will be able to preserve the native prairie and woodland habitats on the 8 acre site. See Beulah Bluff Preserve project webpage.
2nd Annual Kookout Celebration A Success!
The Kettle Moraine Land Trust (KMLT) held its 2nd Annual Kookout at historic Lake Lawn Resort against the backdrop of Delavan Lake on Saturday, June 16th. Although the morning skies offered some much needed rain, the sun burst out just in time for attendees to enjoy lunch in the outdoor atrium.
Delavan Lake Watershed Network:
The Delavan Lake Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) is a new effort facilitated by KMLT to protect and improve the entire Delavan Lake watershed that complements and coordinates the great things that many local organizations are doing for the Lake. WIN is a coalition of lake groups, municipalities, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and local citizens working together on projects to protect water quality and enhance local communities understanding of sound lake management practices.
KMLT Report on the Annual Meeting and Book Signing:
A standing room only crowd gathered to hear authors and conservationists Charlotte Adelman and Bernard Schwartz speak about their new book, The Midwestern Native Garden, Native Alternative to Nonnative Flowers and Plants, An Illustrated Guide (Ohio University Press, 2011). This is the second book devoted to native ecosystems and plants that the couple has written and is a beautiful guide to native plants that can easily replace many of the commonly sold greenhouse varieties that offer little benefit to butterflies, birds, bees and other vital pollinators.
Copies of the book were available for purchase and KMLT members were able to purchase the book at a reduced cost and have it signed by the authors. After the presentation wine and cheese were served and everyone present enjoyed the shade of the patio garden. Charlotte and Bernard also partner with KMLT to perpetually preserve wildlife habitat along the shores of North Lake in northwestern Walworth County by donating a conservation easement to the Trust.
Invader Crusader Award for KMLT Volunteer:
Seven years ago Eric Tarman-Ramcheck began working as a volunteer removing invasive species, juggling a busy school and work schedule. His efforts at Camp Charles Allis, a private camp on the western shores of Lake Beulah, and Beulah Bog State Natural Area continue today, not only as a volunteer worker, but also as a member of the Camp Charles Allis Board of Directors and Chair of the Managed Forest Committee. In 2008, he joined the Board of the Kettle Moraine Land Trust (KMLT), and subsequently took the lead there in the organization's official adoption (via the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin) of the Beulah Bog State Natural Area. In addition, he was key in writing the Bog's Management Plan, and development of the Plant List. Eric has shown not only a willingness to work, but to lead, and to share his knowledge with others seeking to make a difference. Congratulations Eric!
The February 11, 2012, Oak Openings Workshop sponsored in part by the Kettle Moraine Land Trust was filled to capacity. Expert speakers presented a wide variety of information to landowners and community members on how to protect and restore oak woodlands. The workshop was held at the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest headquarters in Eagle, Wisconsin.
Pictured receiving the First Annual Steward of the Year award is Barb Holtz of Holtz Farms. Pictured from right to left are: Ron Martin, Maggie Zoellner, Darcy Kind, Matt Zine, Barb Holtz, Jerry Ziegler and Brian Glenzinski.
A spring prescribed burn is planned at Jackson Creek Preserve. Prescribed burns are conducted to promote native vegetation and reduce the presence of invasive plants. Native plants have adapted to periodic fire events and many even need fire in order to expand their populations. While an exact date is not known, we anticipate a successful burn sometime this spring. Stay tuned for updates!
The Dorothy and Gaylord Donnelley Foundation of Chicago awarded KMLT $10,000 to build partnerships and increase communication and outreach activities across Walworth County. KMLT has retained David Allen of Development for Conservation, to assist in this effort.
The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) established the GIS Hall of Fame in 2005 to recognize and honor the most esteemed leaders of the geospatial community. To be considered for the GIS Hall of Fame, an individual's or an organization's record of contribution to the advancement of the industry demonstrates creative thinking and actions, vision and innovation, inspiring leadership, perseverance, and community mindedness. In addition, nominees must serve as a role model for those who follow. Congratulations, Bill, for this great accomplishment!
Kettle Moraine Land Trust, headquartered in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, is pleased to announce it is applying for national accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The Commission will be conducting an extensive review of the land trust's policies and programs against national standards for organizational management and land transactions and invites public comment about the land trust relevant to these standards. See the accreditation requirements.
Delavan Lake WIN uses a watershed approach to attain a healthy, sustainable water quality in Delavan Lake that meets the needs of the surrounding human and ecological community. Delavan Lake WIN is composed of community groups, all levels of government, nonprofit organizations and other local interest groups. The diverse membership works collaboratively to implement a comprehensive Delavan Lake watershed plan by organizing, prioritizing, coordinating and monitoring land management and outreach activities.
Learn more about Delavan Lake WIN.
The Kettle Moraine Land Trust is pleased to announce they have received a capacity-building grant as part of the Wisconsin Land Trust Excellence & Advancement Program (LEAP). The LEAP program is supported by Gathering Waters Conservancy and the Land Trust Alliance.
The Delavan Lake WIN project was highlighted recently at the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) state employee's meeting as a great example of how land trust's can partner with county and state agencies to implement conservation practices in watersheds. The Mississippi River Healthy Basins Initiative helped fund these conservation practices.
Don and Beverly Hartranft have donated a Conservation Easement to KMLT on approximately 107 acres they own just west of the Village of East Troy.
Kettle Moraine Land Trust is partnering with the Lake Beulah Management District, the Lake Beulah Protective and Improvement Association, the Town of East Troy, and residents living near and around Lake Beulah to begin land conservation work in the area.
Download the Beulah Bog Project Brochure
KMLT Spring Events
Join in the fun this spring by learning to identify our returning song birds, or helping to improve our local wetlands. The Kettle Moraine Land Trust is happy to announce the first of several nature bound adventures for you and your family to enjoy in 2014.
A Wetland Clean Up Day will be held at North Lake, which is located in the northwestern part of Walworth County. This quiet lake is home to a diverse array of wildlife and scenic habitats, and enjoys an abundance of wetlands that are important to frogs, turtles, migratory birds and numerous aquatic species. At the Wetland Clean Up Day on May 3rd, you’ll learn about why eliminating invasive species is so important and how you can help.
For those who are eager to hear the sounds of spring, join our May 11th Bird Walk at Rainbow Springs. This informal walk will cover the basics of birding and is geared toward beginning and intermediate birds. Please click on the calendar links for more information about these events and to register.
More Land Protected Through State & Federal Partnership
In February the Trust acquired a 13 acre wetland parcel adjacent to the Turtle Creek Wildlife Area in the Town of Darien. This land was acquired in partnership with Ducks Unlimited and the Wisconsin DNR, and with grant funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Along with being excellent migratory waterfowl habitat; the sedge meadow wetland provides refuge for endangered reptiles and amphibians. The Wisconsin DNR has agreed to perpetually maintain this parcel in keeping with the management goals for their neighboring 1,035 acre Turtle Creek Wildlife Area. Due to a deed restriction on the property no hunting will be allowed. The Trust is pleased to be able to protect important wildlife habitat and increase our land holdings in the southern part of Walworth County.
KMLT Receives Spiritual Award
On Sunday December 1st, the Trust was honored by the Good Earth Church of the Divine. This is a relatively new Congregational Church which meets in the Michael Fields Big Brown Barn in East Troy. It is led by Pastor Simone Nathan, who believes God is directing us all to take better care of our planet. Improving the care of our earth is an important part of this Church’s mission. Their goal is also a good fit with Michael Field’s focus on reducing agricultural chemical contamination of our soils. The Church led a festive award celebration with music and holiday treats provided. The Trust was presented a beautiful plaque honoring it for its programs in land conservation. Pastor Simone Nathan said,"Their work in protecting and restoring native eco-systems with their waters has physical, mental, spiritual, social and environmental benefits for the present and for the future. These benefits help children, young people, adults and seniors." Maggie Zoellner, our Program Manager, and Jerry Petersen, our President, made brief acceptance speeches thanking the Church for this honor.
On October 19th Peoples Bank of Elkhorn conducted a 5K Run at the Walworth County Fairgrounds with music and education activities in the downtown County Square. The Trust was one of three groups honored. The 5K runners were grouped by age and sex. One group ran with their dogs, and another with their baby carriers. It was a festive and fun event. The funds raised by the event were donated to the Trust and two other charities. The funds received by the Trust will be used for conservation work in the County. The photos below show some of the runners with their dogs, and the Trust booth in the County Square. Shown in the booth are (left to right) are our Program Manager, Maggie Zoellner, and Board members Debbie Ferrari and Sue Heffron. Many were very interested in our efforts to protect lands in the County. It was a fun celebratory day.
BEULAH BLUFF PRESERVE UPDATE
Kettle Moraine Land Trust is busy preparing this 8 acre hill top preserve for public use. Many volunteers are working together to take down buildings of the former home-site including various sheds and outbuildings. Whenever possible salvaged materials are being reused in construction elsewhere or recycled into new uses. Habitat for Humanity and area recycling operations are lending support for our efforts to recycle and reuse whenever possible. Access photos of this work here.
Remaining structure removed in a controlled burn conducted by the East Troy Fire Department on December 7, 2013 after recyclable materials were removed. Deck structure was preserved to build an overlook of Lake Beulah from the Preserve.
Many farmers realize the advantage of protecting water quality and Charles Pearce of C & C Farms is one of them. With additional NRCS funding available in the Delavan Lake watershed, Pearce planted a cover crop on several of his fields to help reduce soil erosion. “If we get a hard rain in the spring the soil stays where it is” says Pearce. After the cover crop is removed Pearce plants corn or soybeans directly into the ground without tilling the soil. The roots of the cover crop continue to hold on to the soil and residue left behind from harvesting helps hold soil in place as well. When soil loss is reduced, water quality is improved. Pearce has seen many changes in the way farmers tend their lands in his lifetime.“ I remember when everyone used to plow everything. Now you don’t have dirty water like you used to, you don’t have all the dust in the air.”