Autumn 2017 Newsletter

birch-on-pond_MG_2324Autumn Newsletter

NCCT’s 2017 Annual Meeting

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Please join us for NCCT’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 12, 2017!
The evening will begin at 5:00 pm with a social hour, followed by dinner and presentations by Janet Smith and Kevin Thusius, Director of Land Conservation at the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Take this opportunity to meet others interested in preserving the natural beauty of Central Wisconsin.
We will honor the landowners who preserved their property during the previous year with a gift, accolades, and their dinner. If you would like to sponsor one of their meals, indicate by checking the box “I would like to sponsor a Conservation Easement Benefactor for $36” on the reply card mailed to you, or on-line, and enclose the additional funds when responding. Go to this link to buy tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/north-central-conservancy-trusts-annual-meeting-tickets-37917505279?aff=es2
Whether you can attend or not, please consider a contribution to NCCT. Your
support is greatly appreciated, and will be recognized at our event.

Please RSVP to NCCT by Friday, October 6.

NCCT Receives State and Local Grants to Benefit Mission Lake

In spring of 2017, the DNR awarded NCCT a Lakeshore Protection Grant of over $76,000 to protect important lakeshore and other resources on Mission Lake. In July, Marathon County awarded NCCT over $39,000 in Environmental Impact Funds (EIF). The combination of these two generous grants will allow us to complete a conservation easement on the 88 acre Waypost Camp. The grant funds will also help the camp’s owners, Crossways Camping Ministries, make trail and signage improvements. Mission Lk

NCCT’s Spring Event on Mission Lake May 13, 2017

NCCT’s spring event at the Waypost Camp on Mission Lake was a great success! We expect to partner with them on similar events in the future.IMG_1324IMG_1307

Land Conservation Society holding spring potluck!

LCS-May 6th Party Event

Spring Event on May 13: Celebrating 4,000 acres & 50 conservation easements!

Lakeshore in summerJoin NCCT and the folks at Waypost Camp & Crossways Ministries on Saturday, May 13, from 1 to 5 pm. as we celebrate the milestone achievement of 4,000 acres of permanently protected land and 50 easements! 

This exciting and fun event will be held rain or shine at Waypost Camp on beautiful Mission Lake. The spacious lodge and other facilities are available in the event of rain. The day will include:

  • Brief presentations about the special natural resources and archaeological artifacts protected with this new conservation easement;
  • Hikes through the camp and its forest and wetlands;
  • Pontoon boat excursions with a lake expert to explore the pristine shoreline and aquatic plants;
  • Option to canoe or kayak from Mission Lake County Park, just across from the camp;
  • Birding with a local Audubon expert;
  • Kids activities, and
  • Snacks and beverages throughout the day.

Location: Waypost Camp on Mission Lake, 351 Crooked Lake Road, Hatley, WI. Mission Lake is in southeastern Marathon County in the Town of Reid. See this link for directions: https://www.google.com/maps/place/351+Crooked+Lake+Dr,+Hatley,+WI+54440/@44.7807396,-89.3566784,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x8801cc7810908833:0xfd93ffdfb2a2b04e!8m2!3d44.7767033!4d-89.3465718

Calling all volunteers: Attend the Monitor Training Workshop!

Monitoring NCCT’s protected properties is a great way to get involved and only takes a few hours of your time!  NCCT would like all volunteers, whether experienced or interested, to attend our first Monitor Training workshop. Here are the details:

Date: May 4, 5-7 pm.

Location: Alan Haney Farm, 1990 Star B Hill Lane, Custer, Portage County

Registration: Call NCCT at 715-344-1910 or email us at edncct@gmail.com

 

Invasive Species Management Work Day a Great Success!

NCCT’s April 1, 2017 work day was no joke! We gathered over 20 students, landowners, and NCCT supporters to tackle Autumn olive and other invasives on Alan Haney’s farm, and toured his beautiful property, including restored prairie, pristine lakeshore, and the bubbling Tomorrow River. After a hearty lunch, generously sponsored by Anderson O’Brien Law firm, the group traveled back to Stevens Point to tour Bob Freckmann’s diverse gardens and landscapes. Thanks to Alan Haney and Bob Freckmann for hosting the tours, and to the Land Conservation Society and Conservation Leadership Corps for providing enthusiastic muscle!IMG_4989 IMG_4952 IMG_5009 IMG_4953 IMG_4955 IMG_4970 IMG_4974 IMG_4978 IMG_4985 IMG_4992 IMG_5005

Invasive Species Management Work Day, April 1, 2017!

Register with NCCT by March 31st and help control invasive plants on our protected properties! We will be visiting a beautiful working farm in Custer, then a unique property with many wetlands right in Stevens Point. We will help the landowners by cutting and pulling buckthorn, garlic mustard and non-native honeysuckles.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hike these wonderful places, learn from experts about invasive species and how to control them, meet really interesting people, and get a free lunch!

Call NCCT at 715-344-1910 or email us at edncct@gmail.com.

Freckmann property

Freckmann property

Mauer-Ruesch Conservation Easement Signed!

On Thursday, December 22, North Central Conservancy Trust and Cathy Mauer and Gordon Ruesch signed NCCT’s latest conservation easement on a 60 acre property located in the Town of Medford, Taylor County. The Mauer-Ruesch easement will forever protect a scenic mixture of mature sugar maple, hemlock and oak forest, a stream, and black ash and northern white cedar wetlands within rolling glacial topography in the Town of Medford. The signing of the Mauer-Ruesch easement brings the total number of acres permanently protected in Taylor County by NCCT to nearly 500 acres. At the time of the Mauer-Ruesch easement filing, five other conservation easements within ten miles of the Mauer-Ruesch conservation easement protected 435 acres of natural glaciated landscape.

The Mauer-Ruesch easement includes a diverse assemblage of flora and plant communities, which in turn supports a diversity of bird species and other wildlife. The upland parts of the property include numerous large, old hemlocks, red oaks and sugar maples. A high hemlock-draped ridge looks over a beautiful stream and forested wetlands, and two conical hills set off old farm fields planted to prairie and succeeding to quaking aspen, white birch, red maple and white pine. The high ground slopes down to a beautiful cedar grove fringing a black ash swamp.

Since our inception, NCCT has been dedicated to protecting the worthy scenic, working lands and environmental resources for the benefit of the people of central Wisconsin. Conservation easements are especially important for protecting the agricultural, scenic, and environmental qualities of our landscape. From our first Taylor County easement on 120 acres in 2005 to our latest easement with Cathy Mauer and Gordon Ruesch, NCCT is grateful to our conservation-minded benefactors and is dedicated to continuing our growth as an active and vital land trust.imgp0103

Shop Amazon and support NCCT on Black Friday & Cyber Monday!

Support us when you shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/39-1855857 and Amazon donates to North Central Conservancy Trust Inc.

 

 

Fun had by all at NCCT’s Winter Potluck

Our holiday potluck at Central Rivers Farmshed in Stevens Point was a great success! There were many delicious home made dishes passed, stories told, and inventive white elephant gifts bestowed upon the lucky..and not so lucky.

Jo appreciates her white elephant massage book

Jo appreciates her white elephant massage book

Jan and Magdalena exclaim over scented skunk

Jan and Magdalena exclaim over scented skunk

Cindy & Dave wonder: "What to do with this?"

Cindy & Dave wonder: “What to do with this?”

The Prize of the night: a hand made birdhouse!

The Prize of the night: a hand made birdhouse!

 

 

Annual Meeting 2016

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Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
North Central Conservancy Trust’s Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, October 20th at Great Expectations, The Eatery in Wisconsin Rapids. Join us to celebrate the successes of the past year which include the completion of two conservation easements, the donation of one property, and the hiring of our new Executive Director. The evening will start at 5 pm with a social hour, followed by dinner and presentations. Roger Zimmerman, Board of Director member and award-winning nature photographer, will speak about conservation easements and their importance to diversity.
NCCT will honor the landowners who preserved their property during the previous year with a gift, accolades, and their dinner. Whether you can attend or not, please consider a contribution to NCCT. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Click HERE to attend event. 
NCCT has preserved over 3,900 acres of rural land due to the voluntary action of landowners who care about the preservation of our land and the quality of life in our communities. We hope you will join us to celebrate in October!

Summer 2016 Newsletter Available!

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Saving Our Land: Landowner Stories

Encompassing over about 200 miles and four counties, the Plover River watershed is home to many lando wners and wildlife habitat. It is classified as a Class 1 trout stream from the headwaters in Langlade south to County Highway N. The $9,911 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will help landowners living along the Plover River to conserve their natural property for future generations. The grant allows the North Central Conservancy Trust to continue a Plover River watershed protection project in Portage and Marathon counties.  The goal of this project is to develop and disseminate materials and educational programs that inform and encourage private landowners to utilize voluntary conservation options as a means to protect priority lands near the Plover River that provides wildlife habitat, ecological services, and recreational opportunities. One project funded by this grant has Project Director, April Ann Opatik, interviewing and photographing seven of NCCT’s land donors.

These stories will be featured in a “magazine-like” spread. It will include personal stories, ties to the land, and beautiful photographs of nature produced by April. “It’s been a true pleasure being able to meet with our land donors and get to know what their personal ties to the land are. I know I have passion for land conservation, but overall it has been an inspirational journey to talk directly with landowners who have a conservation easement on their land. Moving forward, I hope this project will inspire and motivate others to pursue the option of a conservation easement and preserving our land. I couldn’t be more grateful for having the opportunity to have done this for NCCT, worked with the staff and board members. I truly thank them for their time, this opportunity, and kindness,” April stated. The grant project will help provide educational resources so that landowners are aware of how they can permanently protect their private land. Stay tuned for more updates regarding this grant-funded project and as always, please contact us if you have any further questions.

Roger Zimmermann Speaks About His Year-long Photography Adventures

NCCT Intern Receives Honorable Mentions at UWSP’s 2016 Student Research Symposium

Through the support of a DNR river grant, NCCT hired a part-time Plover River Watershed GIS Intern. Sean Piette from Duluth, Minnesota is a Natural Resource Planning major at University of Wisconsin’s Stevens Point (UWSP) and was hired to assist staff, volunteers, and develop a GIS analysis on the Plover River watershed. The goal of this DNR grant project is to develop and disseminate materials and educational programs that inform and encourage private landowners to utilize voluntary conservation options as a means to protect priority lands near the Plover River Watershed that provides wildlife habitat, ecological services, and recreational opportunities. Sean introduced some of the initial project findings at the UWSP 2016 Student Research Symposium. He did both an oral presentation that received an honorable mention and a poster presentation that received highest honors. Further research will be done on this project, but it is noteworth to see what progress has been made so far. Stay tuned for further updates and final outcomes.

Thank you for all of your support, donations, and interest in what NCCT does for both you and the community.

Happy Spring!

2016 Student Research Symposium

2016 Student Research Symposium

 

2016 Student Research Symposium

2016 Student Research Symposium

 

 

 

Photo By: Roger Zimmermann

Photo By: Roger Zimmermann

A Sincere Farewell and a Hopeful Addition

In 2013, NCCT established a full-time position opening for an Executive Director. It was a big leap for our conservancy, but we knew we made the right choice as we look back on our time with Betsy Kerlin. This past December, Betsy Kerlin and her family made a decision to move to Pennsylvania and she announced her departure from our organization. We take a moment to look back on all the wonderful accomplishments she made for us. Betsy was a one-person staff and on top of this she was able to secure over 8 conservation easements and over $20,000 in grant funding during her time with NCCT. The mission of our conservancy is to protect worthy, scenic,working lands and environmental resources for the benefit of the people of central Wisconsin and Betsy did just that. Her outgoing and loving personality benefited the community of Stevens Point and our 8-county service area in many ways. Her passion for the environment and this organization made it possible to have created many of the positive relationships we have today. During her last year before leaving, she was able to secure a grant and add a part-time intern named, April Opatik. Betsy was a brilliant mentor and teacher. After learning about Betsy’s departure, April stated, “Betsy was and will be forever my inspiration and mentor for land conservation. She taught me so many things and guided me to follow my passions. It is very sad that she is leaving the organization, but I know that she will make a positive impact wherever she goes.” Before leaving, we asked Betsy to say a few words regarding her departure and she stated it as bittersweet, “While I’m happy for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom, I’m sad to be leaving a job that that fueled my passion and a community that I have come to love.” Her biggest accomplishment was NCCT’s partnership with UWSP. She was happy NCCT was able to take Dr. Aaron Thompson’s class project and rely on it as a strategic conservation plan for the Plover River. She is so proud of NCCT’s student volunteers and to have had the ability to inspire the next generation of conservative leaders. The hardest instance she faced was the lack of support for conservation programs at the state level, but the friendships and partnerships she forged made up for that as some of her happiest moments. Due to her departure, we will be announcing the opening of her position, Executive Director, on our website, Facebook, Land Trust Alliance’s website, and some other sites. Please check back if you or anyone you know might be interested. It is a great opportunity to mark your journey in helping protect central Wisconsin’s land.

Thank you Betsy Kerlin for all that you have done for central Wisconsin and the land. Please remember us and have a safe journey onto your next path in life. Take a look through some of the photos from the past two years with quotes regarding Betsy from board members, committee members, and friends!

Plover River Watershed GIS Intern Hired

Through the support of a DNR river grant, NCCT hired a part-time Plover River Watershed GIS Intern. Sean Piette from Duluth, Minnesota is a Natural Resource Planning major at UWSP and was hired to assist staff, volunteers, and develop a GIS analysis on the Plover River watershed. Sean is currently involved in the University of Wisconsin’s Stevens Point organization called the Land Conservation Society as the treasurerUntitled, as well as involved with many other organizations. He is a very passionate and hardworking individual that will provide much assistance and success for this grant. This grant allows NCCT to inform and encourage private landowners to utilize voluntary conservation options as a means to protect priority lands in/near the Plover River. April Opatik, Project Director and former GIS Intern, will aid NCCT in outreach and developmental opportunities to help complete the objectives of this grant. By the end of this grant, NCCT hopes to have developed a relationship with Plover River landowners and protected sensitive areas. Sean is very grateful for this opportunity and hopes to gain valuable conservation experience. NCCT is grateful to UWSP and the DNR for this mutually beneficial opportunity and welcomes Sean to the NCCT family!

 

State DNR Grant Benefits Plover River

Encompassing over about 200 miles and four counties, the Plover River watershed is home to many landowners and wildlife habitat. It is classified as a Class 1 trout stream from the headwaters in Langlade south to County Highway N. The $9,911 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will help landowners living along the Plover River to conserve their natural property for future generations. The grant allows the North Central Conservancy Trust to continue a Plover River watershed protection project in Portage and Marathon counties. The grant will help provide educational resources for the project so that landowners are aware of how they can permanently protect their private land. The goal of this project is to develop and disseminate materials and educational programs that inform and encourage private landowners to utilize voluntary conservation options as a means to protect priority lands near the Plover River that provides wildlife habitat, ecological services, and recreational opportunities. A student intern will be hired from the University of Wisconsin’s Stevens Point to help guide this project by the direction of both the Project Director, April Opatik, and the Interim Executive Director, Sharon Schwab. Check our Facebook page for future events and presentations regarding this grant.Plover River