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Geneva Lakes Conservancy

GENEVA LAKE CONSERVANCY

Fontana, WI
Website | Phone: (262) 275-5700

Conservation and environmental education.  Our mission is to preserve and advocate for Walworth County waterways, natural areas and working lands.

Mission - The Conservancy, formed in 1977 by citizens concerned about Geneva Lake’s water quality, has grown. Our mission (to preserve and advocate for Walworth County waterways, natural areas and working lands) is accomplished through land protection, education, and advocacy work. Land protection is accomplished through conservations easements as well as ownership of preserves. Conservation easements are a legal agreement with a property owner that limit development of the property forever. Ownership of preserves allow the Conservancy to protect open space, restore native vegetation, and provide the public with natural lands to hike and enjoy. The Conservancy is protecting close to 3,000 acres!  Education opportunities provided are: Conservation@Home program - encourages active involvement in the conservation effort; Native plant sale; Oak Heritage and Recovery program – oak tree sale and Oak Tree contest; Events throughout the year.

One way that the Conservancy accomplishes advocacy work through involvement in the Water Alliance for Preserving Geneva Lake. In 2019 the Conservancy brought about the formation of Water Alliance to bring local groups together to protect and preserve the water quality of Geneva Lake. The Water Alliance has representatives from the Conservancy, Geneva Lake Association, Geneva Lake Environmental Association, Department of Natural Resources, Walworth County, and UW-Whitewater.  

Community Resources - The Conservation@Home program is an education and recognition program for homeowners for their earth-conscious choices in home landscape, as well as water conservation and protection efforts. Conservation@Home was launched in 2020, and there were 50 homeowner visits, conducted by volunteers and Conservancy staff. The visit with the homeowner focuses on six categories:  native vegetation, stormwater management, yard management, wildlife habitat, phosphorus/chloride reduction and dark skies/light pollution.   The design of the Conservation@Home program is to encourage landowners to become actively involved in the conservation effort. We can all contribute to environmental improvement – one yard at a time, and each contribution increases the quality of life for all!     

Most Urgent Need - Funding to continue our land protection efforts is urgent. As the Conservancy grows, so does our need to restore and preserve our lands. This take staff time to organize work days, monitor the properties and work on restoration efforts, which include the removal of invasive species and then planting native vegetation.