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We’re excited to share that we’ve moved offices! Our new address is:

211 S. Paterson St., Suite 250
Madison, WI 53703

To better fit our growing team, we moved to a bigger space in the building next door to our old office. You might recognize it by the large metal bird sculptures (“Dreamkeepers” made by Thomas Every) out front.

In addition to having more space to work, we also have great new neighbors! We now share a building with Gathering Waters, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, and Madison Audubon.

If you recently mailed something to our old address, we’ll still get it. Our mail will be forwarded to our new location for a while longer. Our phone number, 608-258-9797, remains the same.

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:

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.

Groundswell is growing and we have an exciting career opportunity to share! We’re hiring a full-time Outreach & Events Coordinator.

The Outreach & Events Coordinator is a new position with the Development team, responsible for managing Groundswell’s events and outreach activities. This person will connect people with nature through free community field trips and events on land Groundswell helped protect. They will also coordinate our email, social media, and website communications.

As with all staff at Groundswell, this employee will help build lasting relationships with people and partners that enable us to create a world where everyone can enjoy nature and equitable access to land.

This position is salaried with paid benefits including health and dental insurance, annual and sick leave, and retirement.

Check out the full job description to learn more and for directions on how to apply. Applications are due by Monday, May 22, 2023.

Liz Pelton, who you’ve seen coordinating our outreach and events, isn’t going anywhere. She has made the decision to reduce her hours with Groundswell to spend more time with her young daughter. She’ll continue to coordinate our fundraising efforts part time.

Have you noticed that we’ve been using the term HMoob instead of Hmong lately? Throughout written work, the HMoob people and language have been categorized under the generic term “Hmong.” However, the HMoob people and language represent a diverse group of communities and identities. The term “HMoob” was created by community members as a more inclusive word that encompasses two main dialects, Green and White.

To be more inclusive of the different communities within the larger HMoob community, Groundswell will use the term “HMoob” in writing going forward. Even though the spelling is different, the English pronunciation is the same (muhng).

To learn more about how and why this term was created, check out this article from UW-Extension:

Exciting news! Groundswell’s Conservation Director, Tony Abate, is taking on a new role at Groundswell. While his job title will stay the same, his promotion means that he’ll take the lead on our land protection efforts going forward.

“I’m eager to expand our tradition of thoughtful, strategic land protection,” says Tony. “I look forward to creating equitable access to land, protecting farmland, preserving wildlife habitat, and more.”

Over the past seven years, Tony has established strong working relationships with private landowners and Groundswell’s agency and community partners. He’s done an incredible job of leading our Stewardship Committee and developing and implementing our green schoolyard initiatives and community projects at Patrick Marsh and Westport Prairie.

We’re excited about Tony stepping into the role and building on Groundswell’s 40 years of land protection success. His expertise and knowledge of conservation easements and land management will benefit us greatly as our organization grows. We couldn’t think of a better person for the job!

Groundswell Conservancy is kicking off the new year with some exciting news! After 40 years of conservation success, we’re growing, and we need your help.

We’re looking for four people with diverse backgrounds and experiences who are passionate about protecting special places forever to join our board of directors. We’re also seeking community members to serve on our various committees.

Since 1983, Groundswell Conservancy has protected hundreds of special places in South Central Wisconsin. We work to keep rich farm soils available for farming, help elementary schools in Madison create green schoolyards, manage natural areas to care for wildlife, and connect communities to the land.

We also improve access and land tenure for farmers of color and New American farmers. We work to remove barriers to equitable access to land and nature and strive, every day, to represent the communities we serve.

We’re seeking board and committee members who are:

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the full position description.

Apply today by emailing your cover letter and resume to

Applications are due by February 17, 2023.

Groundswell is growing and we have two exciting career opportunities to share! We’re hiring a full-time Easement Stewardship Manager and a full-time Technical Assistance & Outreach Manager. These roles are great chances to join a successful nonprofit and help protect special places forever where diverse people and communities can thrive.

The Easement Stewardship Manager plays an important role in stewarding Groundswell’s 79 conservation easements. This position is responsible for annual conservation easement monitoring and resolving easement issues and approvals.

The Technical Assistance and Outreach Manager plays an important role in supporting HMoob farmers in Wisconsin. This person will work closely with Groundswell’s Community Director and grant partners to provide technical assistance and outreach to HMoob farmers.

As with all staff at Groundswell, theses employees will help build lasting relationships with people and partners that enable us to create a world where everyone can enjoy nature and equitable access to land.

Both positions are salaried with paid benefits including health and dental insurance, annual and sick leave, and retirement.

Check out the full job descriptions to learn more and for directions on how to apply. Applications for the Easement Stewardship Manager position are due by January 9,  2023. Applications for the Technical Assistance and Outreach Manager position are due by January 15, 2023.

What a year! Thanks to supporters like you, Groundswell protected special places in our community, restored important wildlife habitat, connected people to nature, and more. Read all about our latest projects in our 2021-2022 annual reportHere’s a preview of the stories inside.

Photo credit: Mario Quintana

Protected Forever: A Centennial Farm on the Shore of Hook Lake

In early August, the Town of Dunn and Groundswell Conservancy placed a permanent conservation easement on the Peterson Family centennial farm. This easement preserves valuable farmland by restricting development on the 133-acre property…READ MORE.

Photo credit: Sue Ann Schwank

Protected Forever

This past fiscal year our relationships with landowners and communities resulted in the permanent protection of wetlands, farmland, a park, and shorelines. That means our communities are more resilient to flooding, farmers can invest in their soil with the confidence that it won’t be developed, wildlife has more places to thrive, and we all can enjoy more public nature spaces….READ MORE.

Photo credit: Roberta Herschleb

Fall Harvest Picnic

We held our second annual Lifting Hearts Fall Harvest Picnic at Westport Farm on Saturday, September 10. This year, we had a record turnout, with over 120 adults and kids attending…READ MORE.

Groundswell is excited to announce that we have been awarded the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers (2501) Program grant to bring more resources to HMoob farmers in our community! 

The funding, provided by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, will support three years of technical assistance for HMoob farmers.

In partnership with UW-Madison Division of Extension, FairShare CSA Coalition, and Black and Brown Womyn Power Coalition, we will work with community organizations serving or aspiring to serve HMoob farmers in Wisconsin. We’ll help HMoob farmers access USDA programs, reach additional markets, and get support from Extension, agricultural lenders, and peers.

You can learn more about this grant program and other recipients in the USDA’s press release.

Introducing Harlie Pingel! Harlie is Groundswell’s new Social Media Intern. She’s an avid Youth Volunteer for Conservation with Dane County Parks and will be a senior at Waunakee High School this fall.  Harlie is passionate about conservation and hopes to pursue a career in environmental protection.

“Through this internship, I’m hoping to gain more environmental experience and direction for college. I’m excited to learn all the aspects of conservation and apply them to my interests in the future,” she says.

Harlie will be creating content for our Facebook and Instagram pages while Liz, our Development & Outreach Coordinator, is on parental leave this summer. Be sure to follow us on social media if you don’t already!

We’ve got some great posts planned for the season. Harlie will join other Groundswell staff and supporters out on the land, sharing stories from special places around Dane County. She’ll also continue the tradition of sharing cool nature facts. For example, did you know that robber flies mimic bees to avoid predators?


Robber fly (left) mimics a bumble bee (right). Photo credits: Mary Binkley

We’re so excited to have Harlie be part of the Groundswell team this summer. You can get in touch with her on social media or at until September. Thanks for helping us welcome her!