The Land Legacy Gathering: 5 years of touring Wisconsin’s special places

Our annual Land Legacy Gathering honors the people who make it possible for us to continue Wisconsin’s incredible land legacy, and offers attendees the opportunity to learn how their support is advancing the land trust movement, locally, statewide and nationally. Each year we hold the event at a different, significant conservation site in Wisconsin.  In this, our fifth year of the event, we hope you make plans to attend – all are welcome! – and join us as we look back at the previous Gathering sites.

Guests arriving at the Leopold Shack, April 2008

The first ever Land Legacy Gathering, co-hosted by the Baraboo Range Preservation Association and the Aldo Leopold Foundation in 2008, was held at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Centerin Baraboo Wisconsin. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center was built from pines planted by the Leopold family and is the first LEED Platinum, carbon neutral building in the world. The Gathering included a hike to the Historic Leopold Shack which was the Leopold family’s weekend retreat and served as inspiration for the writing, observations, and lessons of Aldo Leopold.

In 2009, the Gathering was held at the Mequon Nature Preserve in partnership with the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. The Mequon Nature Preserve is a groundbreaking example of a restored natural area in an urban/suburban community. Attendees hiked through the Preserve’s 438 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and open fields.

Gathering guests enjoying a hike in the Kinni River Canyon, April 2010.

In 2010, the Gathering was held at the Kinnickinnic River Canyon Property in River Falls and co-hosted with the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust. The Kinnickinnic River flows through 96,000 square acres and the protected area includes creeks, springs, wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, native plant communities, rare and endangered species, bluffs, coulees, and family farms. The event involved a guided hike of the Kinnickinnic River Canyon ecosystem restoration project.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance, based in Cross Plains, was our co-host site in 2011. At the Gathering, guests were taken on a guided hike of the Table Bluff segment of the Ice Age Trail.  The Ice Age Trail is a thousand-mile footpath, protected and managed by the Ice Age Trail Alliance, and highlights the unique features carved into Wisconsin’s landscape by a glacier over 12,000 years ago.

An oasis in urban Milwaukee

This year, we are excited to announce the Beer Line Trail and Wheelhouse Property as the location for our 2012 Land Legacy Gathering. These are two of Milwaukee’s most significant conservation sites. The conversion of this once blighted site into a riverfront park is very special for urban dwellers, who now have improved access to additional green space in the city and the river valley system of trails. This year we have partnered with the Land Trust Alliance and are co-hosting the event with the River Revitalization Foundation. We look forward to another great turnout this year and are hoping for beautiful weather!

For more information on this year’s event, please visit our website.  Hope to see you all there!