Natural Resources Foundation has New Website

WCHF Board of Directors member Natural Resources Foundation has a new update website. It is the Foundation’s hope the new design will be easier to navigate and will do a better job showing the big picture of everything they do. Feel free to let them know you like it! Email Caitlin Williamison

The Natural Resources Foundation has been a member of the WCHF Board of Directors since 2016.

Past WCHF Treasurer Peter Muto has Died

Peter Muto. Photo courtesy of Bakken Young Funeral Home

It is with sad heart we post the news that Peter Muto has passed away. We were fortunate to have Peter as a member of the WCHF Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee for many years, most recently serving as WCHF Treasurer. As WCHF President Joe Passineau noted “Peter was always enthusiastic and actively promoting the WCHF.” Read more

WCHF Receives C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant

This past year, WCHF received a C.D. Besadny Conservation grant for $1,000 through the Natural Resources Foundation (NWF) of Wisconsin for the purpose of expanding the WCHF website. The actual award was delivered in person to the WCHF Board at their annual meeting at the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center on November 4, 2018 by NWF Board member Bill Lunney.

For over thirty years NWF has worked to preserve our state’s most vulnerable public resources – our land, our water, our endangered species as well as providing conservation education to thousands.

In making the presentation, Bill said “Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction” as well as physical and mental health. So we are all in this together.”

He concluded with, “The Natural Resources Foundation is pleased to present the Besadny grant award to the Conservation Hall of Fame. The grant to the Hall of Fame will help with website design and upgrades. The committee felt its importance mirrors the evolving methods of getting one’s message across many venues and commended the Board and staff for taking those steps. It will help the Hall of Fame do its important work even more effectively by getting the message out to larger more diverse audiences.

We look forward to working closely with the Hall of Fame to preserve Wisconsin’s Conservation Legacy for the future.”

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is a new voting member of WCHF and on the WCHF Board of Directors.

Shown above are (left to right) Ruth Oppedahl, NRF Executive Director and WCHF Director; Bill Lunney, NRF Board Member and Besadny Grants committee; Donna VanBuecken, WCHF Vice President and grant writer; Joe Passineau, WCHF President and Diane Lueck, past-Chair NRF Board of Directors. Photo by Donna VanBuecken

Thank you Natural Resources Foundation. Congratulations to WCHF.

Milly Zantow in the Sauk County News

Mildred “Milly” Louise Zantow 1923-2014

We were pleased to have the Sauk County Conservation Chronicle September 2017 newsletter reprint the WCHF monograph on Milly Zantow. Milly’s married life brought her to North Freedom and Sauk County where she was inspired to launch the recycling revolution in Wisconsin and the nation.

“Milly lived a life of service and giving back. She was a pioneer in plastics recycling, and a fervent disciple of municipal waste recycling.” (Sauk County Conservation Chronicle)

Milly was inducted into the Wisconsin Hall of Fame spring 2017.

Earl Spangenberg Passes

Earl Spangenberg passed away September 18, 2017. He was the ultimate member of WCHF. Having been a founding member, he served on the Board and Executive Committee, as well as having been President and now Executive Secretary.

We are saddened to report that WCHF Executive Secretary Earl Spangenberg died Tuesday, September 18, 2017.  The funeral will be at 3:00 pm on Friday, September 23, 2017 at 900 Brilowski Road at the Episcopal Church of the Intercession and the Redeemer Lutheran Church. The church is located behind Fleet Farm in Stevens Point.  The visitation will start at 1:00 pm.

In announcing Earls’ passing, WCHF President Joe Passineau wrote:

“The Hall of Fame was one of his great passions. He contributed so much over the past 35 years as a Member of the Board and the Executive Committee, and through his leadership as President and recently as Executive Secretary. We will miss him. I enjoyed working with him over these many years.

I last saw Earl just a month ago, at the August 15th WCHF Board of Governors meeting at the Schmeeckle Reserve. As always, he was excited to learn about new nominations to the WCHF and looked forward to next Spring’s Induction Ceremony.”

2017 WCHF Inductee Christine Thomas and Dean of Resource Management, Department of Natural Resources, UW-SP wrote:

“I have known Earl since 1978.  I was one of his hydrology students.  He served on my graduate committee.  Earl was one of the most caring teachers I ever knew.  His primary discipline was water.  He was also a forester and participated in that discipline as well.  The groundwater model was developed by AWRA student chapter while Earl was the advisor.  He was a rock in the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame.  He loved music.”

Note:  AWRA stands for American Water Resource Association. Earl started the first student chapter of AWRA at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and guided the chapter to create, market and sell groundwater models that are used all over the country today.

As noted in the Obituary, the funeral will be on Friday afternoon at 3:00, with visitation beginning at 1:00 at the Episcopal – Lutheran Community Church in Stevens Point (at 900 Brilowski Road, behind Fleet Farm).

The family has asked that donations, in memory of Earl, be sent to:

Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame
Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center
2419 North Point Drive
Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54481

For more information, call 715.346.4992

Or e-mail Donna VanBuecken at