Don Halloran and Sylvia Eisenmann embody the truism that people protect what they know and love.
"I joined the Boy Scouts at age 12, and that changed everything,” says Don. “Cooking on a fire at camp, splitting wood, learning to repair my bike—those lessons of self-sufficiency stuck and showed me I could make conservation a significant part of my life.” Don went on to study forestry, work as a smoke jumper and serve in the Navy. Sylvia spent her early years at the end of a country road. “My family had a big garden. I had to walk through our alfalfa field to get to the school bus stop.” And over their lives, they have both shared their love of nature with others—Don as a biology professor and education guide at national parks and Sylvia as a teacher and photographer.
Don and Sylvia met on a tropical ecology trip to Costa Rica and later settled in Wisconsin. Their mutual pursuits of wilderness and adventure have led them on many journeys, including retracing the paths of Lewis and Clark and Charles Darwin.
“We support TNC because we believe in the importance of buying and managing land,” says Don. “That means it is protected forever—and that is meaningful to us.”