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Over the past quarter century, the Badger Lands have seen tremendous growth. It’s been an era of teamwork, compromise, victory and revitalization. The Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance has been along for this journey since the beginning, experiencing the comings and goings of each success, struggle and passing season. It is with a heavy heart I bring news of yet another new season for the Alliance. I have recently informed our board of directors that I am stepping down from my post as Executive Director.
Just as land preservation and restoration is a guiding force in my life, working for improved water quality is a mission I hold close. Next month I will begin a new professional chapter in a leadership role with the Rock River Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting water resources in the Rock River Basin. Though my time with the SPCA is coming to an end, we’ll remain connected by our unified goal of building a stronger tomorrow for Wisconsin’s natural spaces.
While some of the projects I’ve worked on will be completed after I am gone, I find comfort in knowing there are so many people committed to restoring the Badger Lands. In 2021 we have been graced with an enthusiastic host of volunteers, our constituents have shown generous support in a challenging year and we have been awarded a sustaining amount of grant money. The board of directors has recently welcomed a few new members, and is currently working on finding my replacement. The future is bright!
Highlights of my tenure as Executive Director include the launch of the Citizen Science Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project, a new partnership with Monarch Joint venture, overseeing the prairie restoration project along the Great Sauk State Trail, the planting of a demonstration pollinator garden, fostering a new partnership with Goose Pond Sanctuary, two SPCA newsletters, two online auctions, a refurbished SPCA website and a collaboration with a UW-Madison Nelson Institute senior capstone course.
Additionally, we implemented a new database for member relations that will give more consistency to our emails and letters and make annual renewals simpler and more cost effective. 2021 has also seen an exceptional slate of We Are Sauk Prairie lectures, educational tours and the launch of the Explore the Badger Lands App, which will help visitors navigate and appreciate the history Badger like never before.
I first became familiar with SPCA over 20 years ago as an intern with the DNR. Walking through the Badger Lands has always felt like a privilege, and serving them has been an experience I will cherish for the rest of my career. I will continue to visit the prairie as a volunteer, and I am excited to watch the growth that future seasons will surely bring.