Friends Announce 2014 Leopold Restoration Award Winners

This year, the Leopold Restoration Awards program bestows four awards that recognize the outstanding contributions of private landowners who have transformed their land, shared what they have learned, and worked with professionals and volunteers to accomplish ecological restoration goals — and a career in ecological restoration that has enhanced land management.

The Eagle Nature will receive the Virginia M. Kline award for Community-Based Ecological Restoration.

Linking Eagle Elementary School to the Alice Baker Memorial Public Library, this project is community-based, involving volunteers, students, local organizations and adults in the creation and maintenance of a walking path and a restored prairie, woodland and pond. An important part of the trail’s mission is to educate the public about native plants, prairie ecosystems, pond habitat, native woodlands and controlling invasives.

Read more about The Eagle Nature Trail.

Swamplovers Foundation, our second winner of the Virginia M. Kline award for Community-Based Ecological Restoration, consists of a group of landowners in Cross Plains who have applied a community-based approach to conservation to accomplish remarkable ecological restoration projects on their property.

Currently, they have 460 acres undergoing restoration and research with an amazing diversity of species — more than 1,269 species have been documented, including at least 98 that are extremely rare or of conservation priority.

Read more about Swamplovers Foundation.

Constance Brouillette and John Van Altena, along with Penny and Gary Shackelford, are winners of the Henry C. Greene Award for Innovative Approaches in Restoration for their group effort to preserve and enhance populations of the federally threatened, state-endangered eastern prairie fringed orchid. Together, they have conducted research to learn the best land management practices to enhance the conditions that benefit this plant.

Read more about these Henry C. Greene Award winners.

Thomas Wise, winner of the John T. Curtis Award for Career Excellence in Ecological Restoration, will be recognized for his dedication and commitment to enhancing land management practices in Wisconsin through the use of prescribed fire. He has been implementing prescribed fires for The Nature Conservancy for three decades, significantly influencing and educating others about the important role of fire in ecological restoration.

Read more about Tom Wise.

On October 9, 2014, we will recognize these winners at our annual awards ceremony and dinner held at the Arboretum Visitor Center.