Wild Ideas


Share. Inspire. Get Wild.

5 dynamic topics. 15 powerful slides. 5-minute talks to inspire.
TLC’s Wild Ideas series provides a unique venue for experts and the community to share their innovative ideas to safeguard clean water, protect natural habitats, support local farms and food, and connect people with nature in order to make the Triangle a more vibrant place for all of us to live, work, and play. Each event features 5 fast-paced presentations introduced by an emcee then is followed by an Expo of organizations, groups, and businesses actively working in fields related to the theme. 

Wild Ideas for Tomorrow, Today

December 5th, 2018 5:30-8 PM
The Frontier @ RTP
800 Park Offices Dr.
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

 In 1983, an ambitious group of volunteers founded Triangle Land Conservancy to conserve land for tomorrow. 35 years later, TLC has protected over 18,500 acres in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Orange, and Wake Counties. We’ve opened 7 public nature preserves where people can connect with nature on their own or during one of our 60+ events per year. We manage 3 farm properties where partners are given the land they need to grow food for their communities. But are we ready for the next 35 years?

At Wild Ideas for Tomorrow, Today we’ll step into the future of Triangle population growth trends, our changing climate in the Piedmont, who will carry the legacy of the land, and what Triangle Land Conservancy envisions as we continue to conserve “land for tomorrow.”

Join us on December 5th, as we step into the future at Wild Ideas for Tomorrow, Today when 5 speakers share 5 minute insights on 5 topics for tomorrow.

Click here to register to attend!


M.C.: Toni Wyche Jones, TLC Board Member, Environmental Engineer with the US Environmental Protection Agency

Toni Wyche Jones is a TLC Board member and Environmental Engineer for the US Environmental Protection Agency. Toni served as the project lead for the fast-paced development of the Clean Power Plan and was the 2016 recipient of the EPA’s Administrator’s Award of Excellence. Toni received her BS in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and her Master’s in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University.


Dr. Anita Brown-Graham, UNC School of Government Professor of Public Law and Government

Dr. Brown-Graham recently rejoined UNC’s School of Government to launch ncIMPACT, a special initiative that seeks to expand the School’s capacity to work with public officials on complex policy issues. Dr. Brown-Graham is a William C. Friday, American Marshall, and Eisenhower Fellow. In 2013, the White House named her a Champion of Change for her work at the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University, and the Triangle Business Journal named her a 2014 Woman in Business for her policy leadership in the State and a 2017 CEO of the Year.

Jen Schmitz, Principal Water Resources Planner, Triangle J Council Of Governments (TJCOG)

Jen Schmitz is the Principal Water Resources Planner for the Triangle J Council of Governments, where she provides technical assistance and organizational support on comprehensive and collaborative watershed planning projects for local governments, state and federal agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. She holds a BS in Zoology from Michigan State University, and a MS in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University, where she focused her studies on water quality and watershed ecology. She spent 10 years working as an environmental consultant in Seattle with focuses on stormwater, sediment, and aquatic ecology before moving to the Raleigh-Durham area. Since then, she has also worked with the NCDEQ Division of Water Resources and the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division.

Kevin Hicks, Founder of Triangle Bikeworks

Kevin is a self-admitted kid at heart! He funnels that fresh energy into his own youth-serving nonprofit, Triangle Bikeworks (TBW), where young people are enriched in mind, body and spirit through transformative community, cultural and cycling experiences. His goal as Founder and Executive Director of TBW is to help provide youth with an opportunity to make the world a better place. When he isn’t leading cycling tours for children cross country, or trying to keep up with his own eight kids, you can find him working in IT at IBM.

Bikes, Water & Soul follows local youth from Triangle Bikeworks’ Spoke ‘n Revolutions program on the bicycle journey of a lifetime from Orange County to the Atlantic Coast and back. The tour was over 700 miles with stops along the way to learn about conservation, history, and each other. After the screening team members will be at the expo to talk about the trip and where they’re heading next summer.

Sandy Sweitzer, Executive Director, Triangle Land Conservancy

Sandy Sweitzer is the Executive Director of the Triangle Land Conservancy. Sandy brings over 30 years of nonprofit experience, 20 of those years in Durham. Sandy has experience working in conservation from her prior capacity as Associate Director of Philanthropy for the North Carolina chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Drawing on a deep well of experience founding and managing two nonprofit startups, she is adept at developing effective strategies for identifying, cultivating and soliciting partnerships from a wide range of community members and organizations. As Executive Director, she helps to develop policies and partnership to make the region a healthier and more vibrant place to live, work and play.



Triangle Bikeworks

Mountains to Sea Trail

City of Oaks Foundation

Leaf and Limb

Schoolhouse of Wonder

Triangle J Council of Governments 

Great Outdoor Provision Co.

Keep Durham Beautiful

Conservation Trust for North Carolina

NC Composting Council


Wake Up, Wake County

Triangle Off Road Cyclists (TORC)

RDU Forest

Special thanks to:

This event is offered free of charge thanks to support from:


Duke Logo


Past Events

Wild Ideas for Clean Creeks, March 20th, 2018

Wild Ideas for Walnut Hill, November 14th, 2017

Wild Ideas for Clean Water, June 27th, 2017

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, March 7th, 2017

Wild Ideas for Farms and Food, October 11, 2016.

Wild Ideas for Birds and Bees, June 22nd, 2016.

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, March 9th, 2016

Wild Ideas for Clean Water, June 2015

Wild Ideas for Getting Outside, March 3rd, 2015

Wild Ideas for Feeding the Triangle, October 22nd, 2016


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