top of page

We are proud to be conservation leaders in Central Wisconsin. Every day, we strive to make Central Wisconsin a better place to live and work through cooperative efforts involving our fantastic team, volunteers, and conservation partners!  We deliver what our motto states: “Conservation That Works!”

This year we were again challenged by the pandemic, but we continued to find ways to navigate educational events and project work safely for all. I am proud to say that in 2021 we connected with hundreds of volunteers, restored and enhanced aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and educated students about the importance of groundwater and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.  We also helped numerous agricultural grazers receive Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funding to incorporate conservation into their agricultural practices for the benefit of the soil, water quality, wildlife, and livestock.

Continue reading to learn about the important work we accomplished in 2021. While we celebrate our past achievements, we encourage you to keep Golden Sands RC&D in mind for future conservation-related projects. We create change that matters to the communities we serve and hope you join and support our “Conservation that Works!”


Cheers to 2021 and here's to 2022!


All the best,

Hannah Butkiewicz

Hannah Butkiewicz

Hannah Butkiewicz,

Executive Director



Photo Credit: Serene Photography

Silver lake scenery by Chris Hamerla



Our Clean Boats, Clean Waters program assisted six lakes in Central Wisconsin with hiring and training summer Watercraft Inspectors. Summer staff, which included local college and high school students, were hired to talk with boaters at boat landings about the importance of removing plants and draining all water to prevent the spread of invasive species. Our efforts this summer helped boaters recognize that they play a big role in keeping our lakes beautiful!

Photo Credit: Chris Hamerla


Hover over the images to learn more!


Photo Credit: Denise Hilgart

PC Denise Hilgart Cattle on Farm

In September we partnered with Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, UW-Extension through UW-Madison, and the NRCS to host a “Getting Started with Regenerative Land Management” event in Larson, WI.  The day included a walking tour of the property and discussion of how to get started with managed grazing, vegetable or flower production, farm business planning, agroforestry, woodland management, and other agricultural enterprises.  It was a successful event for the attendees.  Thank you to our partners for their support and to Eric and Sandra Jones for opening their farm to share their experiences and help educate others.


zebra mussels in lake Helen Portage Co

Through our twelve-county Regional Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program, we assist and train partners to identify, report, and manage AIS. The annual Snapshot event is a statewide opportunity for volunteers to learn about AIS and monitor places in their local area.  In 2021, Golden Sands RC&D led Snapshot events near Lodi and Gleason, WI. Participants monitored boat landings and stream crossings for AIS.  They collected specimens of interest and met back at various sites to have specimens identified and to learn more.  Other collaborating partners included the WI Department of Natural Resources, UW- Extension Lakes, and county staff.


Golden Sands RC&D is the fiscal sponsor of the Central Wisconsin Invasives Partnership (CWIP). In the month of October, CWIP and the Marquette County Land & Water Conservation Department held an Invasive Species Field Day at Muir Park. Attendees spent the day learning about the history of the park, as well as invasive plant identification, mapping, and control. Afterwards, attendees headed out into the park to control invasive plants including buckthorn, honeysuckle, autumn olive, and black locust. It was a very productive day and the attendees had a great time!


Throughout the month of August, Golden Sands RC&D held six different Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) landowner meetings in Portage, Wood, Outagamie, Waushara, Waupaca, and Green Lake Counties. For these meetings landowners from these counties were able to learn about DMAP, and the benefits of enrolling, from Golden Sands RC&D and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. These meetings were fun, educational, and most of them turned into open discussions in which the landowners were able to ask questions about DMAP and any other land management topic.



We coordinated the 35th annual Waupaca County Conservation Field Day (WCCFD), which was held at Hartman Creek State Park on September 24.  This was our 15th year as the event coordinator. More than 350 fifth-grade students participated in the event and were able to learn about different conservation concepts and careers by visiting 16 educational stations that were facilitated by local natural resource professionals.  Thank you to the Friends of Hartman Creek State Park, Parfreyville United Methodist Church, Whitetails Unlimited, and the Waupaca County Land & Water Conservation Department for your financial support!


We want to give a big shout out to Joe Willinger and Chris Klesmith, who are our community garden site captains. Golden Sands RC&D’s neighborhood gardens provide beautiful green spaces that are peaceful, economically beneficial, provide joy, and allow residents the opportunity to grow their own food. Thanks to both volunteers for helping bring our community together through their dedicated work at the gardens! From spreading wood chips to coordinating garden workdays, they have gone above and beyond our expectations and helped us to improve and maintain the gardens this summer.  Their support helps ensure the future of the community gardens!


If you are interested in getting involved with the community gardens as a gardener or volunteer, click on the button below for more information.


Thank you to our 2021 partners, sponsors, and donors for your generosity!  Please click on the donate button below if you support our mission to manage natural and human resources, in ways that are consistent with sound conservation principles, by working across county lines to address local concerns.


2021 income sources came from grants, contracted services, donations,dues and sales
bottom of page