This year, 2023, marks Groundswell’s 40th anniversary. It’s truly a remarkable milestone when you consider our grassroots beginning.

In 1983, a group of concerned citizens came together to protect a small, but important piece of land along Lake Mendota. They formed the Dane County Natural Heritage Foundation. (Read more about our founding story here.) We’re guessing they had no idea that 40 years later, they and those who followed in their footsteps would protect nearly 14,000 acres of special places!

We’ve come a long way and accomplished so much in the last 40 years. As we’ve matured, we’ve evolved to be about much more than just acres protected. The land trust community is increasingly focused on building an inclusive movement in which all people benefit from conserved lands.

During our 40th anniversary year, we’re celebrating our history of conservation success and getting energized for the work that lies ahead. Let’s protect more special places and continue to tackle the environmental challenges our community faces – our climate is changing, farmland is disappearing, not everyone has good access to land, wildlife habitat is vanishing, and people are losing their connections with the outdoors.

With the help of our supporters, landowners, partners, and volunteers, we are taking on big issues with focus and resolve. This year and beyond, we’ll continue to:

  • Act on climate crisis
  • Connect people with nature
  • Conserve wildlife habitat
  • Provide equitable access to land
  • Keep farmland, farmland
  • Create green schoolyards

We are grateful to everyone who’s helped Groundswell make it this far. We invite you to get involved and continue supporting our mission. Let’s engage even more people in our shared vision of a world filled with green places where communities thrive.