The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin announced today that it raised $31.7 million as a result of its My Wisconsin in the Campaign for a Sustainable Planet. The total exceeds the Conservancy’s $30 million fundraising goal and is the largest amount ever raised by the organization in Wisconsin. The campaign is believed to have generated more money for conservation than any other campaign in the state.
“We are especially grateful to our donors, who have been so generous and who have remained passionate and committed to conservation even during difficult economic conditions,” said Mary Jean Huston, director of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin.
The Conservancy’s campaign began July 2007 and ended June 30 of this year.
The My Wisconsin campaign is protecting forests, grasslands, lakes and rivers throughout the state and key lands and key waters around the world. The funds will protect over 86,000 acres and advance cutting-edge conservation across Wisconsin.
“Wisconsin’s business community understands that our economy and our quality of life benefit when we have clean water, abundant wildlife habitat and beautiful natural landscapes that benefit wildlife and people,” said Mike Borden, Chief Executive Officer of Hufcor, Inc. of Janesville, and Co-Chair of the My Wisconsin campaign. “It is this peaceful side of life that many of our business leaders need and cherish to recharge our batteries.”
One leadership gift to the campaign was a bequest from the late Newell and Ann Meyer. Their $12.5 million gift of land and assets ($8.5 million of which was counted in the campaign) is the largest of its kind in Wisconsin and will help protect the Mukwonago River, the most biologically diverse small river system in the state.
Pledges for the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s North America Regional Initiative, announced in partnership with the Milwaukee Water Council in 2010, also make up part of the campaign funds. While further establishing Milwaukee and Wisconsin as leaders in water issues, the initiative will work to establish one voluntary sustainability standard for global water use and management.
Through their gifts, My Wisconsin campaign donors helped protect key lands and waters in Wisconsin. They made it possible to restore prairie in the Mukwonago River Watershed (Walworth and Waukesha counties) and Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area (Dane and Iowa counties), and to plant trees in Door County and the Baraboo Hills, among other efforts. Campaign supporters also helped launch new programs for Lake Michigan conservation and expanded water quality collaborations with farm communities.
Donor celebration events will be held on September 10 from 1 – 3:30 p.m. at the Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve in Suamico; on September 15 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Botham Vineyards and Winery in Barneveld; and on September 21 at MillerCoors’ Fred’s Pub in Milwaukee. A fourth celebration was held on August 15 at North Lakeland Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters.
Please visit nature.org/Wisconsin for more information about the My Wisconsin campaign and the Conservancy’s work in Wisconsin.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.