Riverland Conservancy is a non-profit land trust founded in 1997. Riverland Conservancy owns and manages two wildlife preserves: the Merrimac Preserve located in Sauk County, WI and the Lansing Preserve located in Allamakee County, IA.


Our mission is to protect, conserve, and restore the lands, waters, and natural communities of our preserves. We accomplish our mission through three main initiatives: stewardship, education, and partnership.


We work to protect habitat, improve biodiversity, and preserve our natural heritage by restoring plant communities and managing wildlife at our preserves.

We protect our land from future development and allow only low impact activities such as hiking, bird watching, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

We actively manage our preserves using proven restoration techniques.  Annual activities include invasive species control, tree and brush removal, and prescribed burning.

Land management is a labor of love.  If you love our preserves and want to help support our work donate today!


We provide environmental learning and recreational opportunities for school groups, researchers, conservation practitioners, and the public.

We believe that the best way to learn about and appreciate nature is to get out and experience it first-hand.  The Merrimac Preserve offers over 9.5 miles of maintained hiking trails, including 3.7 miles of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.  The 1.8-mile Carbon Cycle and Habitat Diversity Trail is a self-guided interpretative trail.  The educational signage placed along the trail discusses the carbon cycle and how it is affected by different ecosystems and land use practices.

To view or download a trail map and read our property rules, click here.

Riverland Conservancy encourages the use of our preserves for outdoor education.  We host field trips, workshops, and educational events at our preserves.  If you are an educator, conservation organization, or naturalist and are interested in utilizing one or Riverland’s preserves for an outdoor educational event, please contact us.

Riverland Conservancy offers opportunities for approved ecological research. We work with various education and conservation organizations as well as citizen scientists to better understand the ecosystems present at our preserves and how best to care for them.  Please contact us if you are interested in utilizing one of Riverland Conservancy’s preserves for a research project.

Volunteers are important to Riverland Conservancy and help us accomplish our mission.  We organize group work days as well as individual projects to suit your schedule, interests, and abilities.  Typical volunteer activities include trail maintenance, brush clearing, seed collection, trash removal, invasive species control, as well as building and equipment maintenance.  We strive to make our volunteer events fun, engaging, and educational.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us.


We strive to conduct our activities and operations in partnership with a wide range of individuals and organizations, including local, state, and federal agencies, conservation groups, businesses, the local community, and volunteers.   We are grateful to all of our partners, volunteers, and neighbors for the support they have provided over the years.  We could not do it without them!

  • Aldo Leopold Foundation

  • Alliant Energy

  • Bart and Char Olson Foundation

  • C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund

  • Community Foundation of South Central Wisconsin

  • Delton Sportsman’s Club

  • Ducks Unlimited

  • Gathering Waters

  • Groundswell Conservancy

  • Ice Age Trail Alliance

  • Iowa Audubon

  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources

  • Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

  • Madison Audubon Society

  • Merrimac Conservation Club

  • National Park Service

  • National Wild Turkey Federation

  • Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

  • Operation Fresh Start

  • Pheasants Forever

  • REI

  • Sauk County Conservation Department

  • Trout Unlimited

  • University of Wisconsin

  • USDA

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

  • Wisconsin Waterfowl Association

  • Wisconsin Wildlife Association