Off the Ground
The kick-off to the Little Plover River Conservancy Project (LPRCP) was jumpstarted with pledges totaling $225,000 from these major potato and vegetable farms:
- Wysocki Family of Companies (Gold member-$50,000 pledge)
- Heartland Farms Inc. (Gold member-$50,000 pledge)
- Paramount Farms, Inc. (Gold member-$50,000 pledge)
- Worzella & Sons, Inc. (Gold member-$50,000 pledge)
- Plover River Farms, Inc. (Silver member-$25,000 pledge)
Jim Wysocki, an owner of Wysocki Family of Companies and Jeremie Pavelski, President of Heartland Farms helped spearhead this inspirational project, which arose when the Village of Plover received funding from the WI Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the Portage County Land Preservation Committee to purchase 140 acres for development into a conservancy area/wildlife refuge.
The Village of Plover took an option to purchase 140 acres of land from Worzella & Sons, Inc., which the Village of Plover believed was the ideal location with suitable topography.
The Village of Plover was then able to buy the land they needed and the Worzellas were able to maintain their total number of farming acres.
Subsequently, a Master Plan for LPRCP was developed through the collaboration of many partners: area farmers and other agricultural interests, Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), Portage County, Village of Plover, other government entities, businesses, environmental groups, conservationists, universities, hunting/fishing buffs and the general public.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
The Master Plan features nature trails, a 2.5-acre pond with berms and a sledding hill, creation of a wetlands with elevated walkways, establishment of new wetland areas in the Little Plover River headwaters, hunting and fishing access including handicapped accessible, blinds for wildlife watching, fish and wildlife habitats improvements and addition of pavilions/shelters and parking areas.
Most importantly, the finished Master Plan will resonate throughout Wisconsin and attract all ages and interests: agricultural, educational, environmental, conservationists, universities, wildlife/birding enthusiasts, hunting/fishing buffs and more.
Additionally, the project is intended to promote Little Plover River flow improvements and enhancements on 1,000 acres of land adjacent to the Little Plover River.
Other objectives involve the development of cooperative crop growing strategies adjacent to the headwaters of the Little Plover River and construction of an all season agricultural education/nature center to educate and inform the public regarding Wisconsin’s rich agricultural traditions, crop facts, economic impact and good steward practices, while reinforcing the state’s commitment to natural resource and environmental protection.
According to Jim Wysocki, an owner of the Wysocki Family of Companies, “We are on board to support the enterprising goals developed through this coalition of diverse groups because the educational and recreational opportunities LPRCP presents will benefit all of us who live and work in Portage County and beyond.”
Jeremie Pavelski, President of Heartland Farms continues, “While the Village of Plover paid for the LPRCP Master Plan to be created, additional funding is required to turn this dream into a reality and that is why Heartland Farms stepped up to help launch this project. We believe it embodies the spirit of the Midwest and its pioneers who worked together to build something greater out of a vast wilderness.”
Both Wysocki and Pavelski are excited about the prospect of agricultural education being included in this Master Plan particularly since they saw an outgrowth of appreciation for agriculture during Wisconsin Farm Technology Days 2014, a three-day outdoor event held on two farms in Plover, not far from the site of the proposed LPRCP.
“This event drew over 48,500 people to the field demonstrations, farm tour, ride and drive area, vegetable harvesting tours and Extension exhibits,” explains Pavelski. “An army of over 2,000 community volunteers energized to help daily with everything from food tents to parking and admissions, exposing even more individuals to agricultural endeavors.”
“We want to continue to foster this growing enthusiasm for agriculture,” states Wysocki. “After all, these people are our friends and neighbors and we want to share with them what we do, especially since the Ag industry is their world, too.”
Wysocki and Pavelski are board members of the Conservation of the Little Plover River, UA, LPRCP’s funding entity along with Tamas Houlihan, WPVGA Executive Director; Tom Davies, Village of Plover President and Dan Mahoney, Village of Plover, Administrator. (Special note: If you have any questions regarding any aspect of this project or its fundraising campaign, please feel free to contact any board members)
FUNDING THE MISSION
Implementation of the LPRCP Master Plan will require funding from private and public donors. Consider leaving your mark on tomorrow by helping fund or provide in-kind donations to help steer this project towards a solid reality.
Simply go online to www.cfcwi.org/give/list-of-funds.html , scroll down the alphabetical list of funds until you get to the Conservation of the Little Plover River fund and click on its Donate Now button and you can proceed to the funding page.
ALTERNATE FUNDING OPTIONS
If you prefer to donate by check or in-kind donations, or wish to speak to someone, ‘live’, about your pledges or other involvement, especially in reference to Special Recognition Sponsorship levels, please contact: Jeremie Pavelski, Heartland Farms, [email protected] or Jim Wysocki, Wysocki Family of Companies [email protected].
SPECIAL RECOGNITION SPONSORSHIP LEVELS
Gold Sponsor – $50,000
Silver Sponsor – $25,000
Bronze Sponsor – $10,000
You can also partner with this project through in-kind donations, which will play an important part in its success. Donating your professional and organizational skills, heavy equipment, building supplies and landscaping/hardscaping components for tasks like clearing land and brush, landscaping and construction will help make this project a success. Donors will be recognized in the Badger Common’Tater, unless a donor prefers to remain anonymous.