What is your role at TLC? I manage all of TLC’s owned properties. This includes planning new nature preserves, overseeing the installation and maintenance of trails, creating and implementing management plans for each property, enhancing and protecting wildlife habitat through ecological restoration as well as regular monitoring of the many properties TLC owns.
Favorite TLC Preserve: The Irvin Nature Preserve – Because of the dynamic programs that occur on the property, the beautiful fields, and forest, the small creek flowing through the woods and the many birds and wildlife that I share this wonderful space with.
Walt joined TLC in August 2007 as Land Manager for all of the land trust’s own properties and is now Senior Land Manager. He brings a broad and varied skill set developed during his diverse career. Walt has worked as an environmental educator, a natural science teacher, an environmental health specialist and the owner of a health food store and café in Sanford. Prior to joining TLC, Walt was an environmental educator at Wisconsin’s oldest nature center, Riveredge Nature Center, where he collaborated with volunteers and students to restore native prairie habitats and developed a sustainable gardening program that became integrated into the local school curriculum. His skills serve him in evaluating and determining the specific care and handling policies for each TLC property, depending upon its makeup and public use.
Having been with TLC for over ten years, he has taken the lead in managing, maintaining and stewarding all of our many owned properties – at over 5,000 acres. Walt has spearheaded many of our important ecological restoration efforts including tree planting and maintenance at White Pines and prescribed burns at Horton Grove and Temple Flat Rock, as well as increasing access to our preserves through trail planning, building, and maintenance. As the leader of many outreach and volunteer events for TLC, Walt is well known and admired by many longtime members, volunteers and partners, and especially by TLC’s steadfast Conservation Corps. Walt was one of the key staff who has built the partnerships and infrastructure at Irvin Farm to make it into the success it is today and continues to be the daily lead for the property and our partners as the programs continue to grow. Walt and his wife, Debbie, have two children, Jesse and Emily. They live in the property’s 1880s farmhouse and Walt continues to manage the mixed-use farmland and forest there.