Photo by: Justin Helmkamp

Annual Conference & Membership Meeting 2021

Thursday, April 15 – Saturday, April 17, 2021

Please Join Our Virtual Gathering...
Thursday, April 15 - Saturday, April 17!

This virtual, professionally hosted, three-day event offers a heart-warming opportunity to mingle with the folks who are at the center of the Ice Age Trail Alliance family. It gives new and seasoned members an opportunity to enjoy the always popular Hikers’ Forum, the annual Membership Meeting on Friday afternoon, our Mammoth Awards Ceremony on Friday evening, and a full slate of speakers and workshops Thursday and Saturday. It’s a wonderful way to ask questions, share wisdom, and deepen your Trail knowledge.

Schedule of Events

9:00 a.m. Welcome: Ice Age Trail Alliance staff open the conference with a warm welcome!

9:15 a.m. Wake Up Session: Join us with coffee (or beverage of choice) in hand and be inspired by the first speaker of the day!

Chapter Leadership Summit

For new chapter members and seasoned chapter leaders!

A discussion of the activities and events chapter leaders must consider in creating a robust, well-run organization serving its membership, community, and the Trail at large. The list is long and ranges from Trail Improvement Days, organized hikes and runs, newsletters, social media, and chapter budgets. Come learn new, fresh ideas, or fine-tune the concepts that are already working! Come share your ideas and successes. Let’s all become more efficient, proficient, and share the work-load.








Leave No Trace Introduction

Leave No Trace is a set of outdoor ethics created by the Leave No Trace Center of Outdoor Ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors. Join the experts at this workshop to learn how to incorporate the Seven Leave No Trace Principles while hiking and being outdoors.








Geology of the Ice Age Trail: Ice Lobes that Came from the North—The Langlade, Wisconsin Valley, Chippewa, and Superior Lobes

Join David M. Mickelson, Emeritus Professor of Geoscience, Geological Engineering, and Water Resources Management at UW-Madison, for an overview of glacial landforms seen along the Ice Age Trail. Northern moraines have much higher relief hummocky topography than those farther south in the Green Bay Lobe. Ice-walled lake plains in this region are also more extensive and more abundant. Why is that?








Digital Hiker Resources: Trip Planning, Logistics, and Navigation

A wealth of resources exists to help you plan your 1,000-mile journey, and the IATA staff is eager to demystify them. Learn the ins and outs of the interactive hiker resource map, including Trail Alerts. Discover helpful details embedded in the Guthooks’ mobile app. Get the inside scoop on how to connect with chapter leaders or arrange shuttles.








Ticks and Tick-Borne Disease in Wisconsin

Dr. Susan Paskewitz will discuss recent trends in the prevalence of tick-borne diseases in Wisconsin, including Lyme disease and other less well-known conditions. Paskewitz will also talk about our state’s tick monitoring results, the changes in distribution and abundance. She’ll present the Tick App as a tool for disease prevention and other proven methods that can help protect you from exposure, whether hiking the Ice Age Trail or in your backyard.








Geology of the Ice Age Trail: The Western Green Bay Lobe

Join Luke Zoet, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on a journey back in time to the last Ice Age. Learn how continental glaciation shaped the Wisconsin landscape as Zoet discusses the Western Green Bay Lobe’s glacial deposits.








New Member Welcome

Deepen your connection to the Ice Age Trail Community and join us for a membership orientation. Amy Lord, Outreach and Education Manager, and special guests, will introduce you to Alliance programs and their directors and the organizations we partner with to accomplish our goals. We’ll introduce you to our chapters and the ways you can connect with this vibrant volunteer community. We’ll highlight resources you can use to plan your next adventure and spend some time answering your questions.








What's on Tap: 2021 Reconnect Trailbuilding and Stewardship Season

Whether it’s shaping tread, building boardwalks and bridges, or weeding prairies and removing invasive brush, the season ahead is representative of our steadfast commitment to creating, supporting, and protecting the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Join Trail Program Manager, Dave Caliebe and his cast of cohorts as they describe what’s on tap!








Alliance staff will be available in breakout rooms to help answer questions you might have.

  1. Trail Program – Dave & Patrick
  2. Outreach & Education – Amy
  3. Communications – Lysianne & Elena
  4. Lands – Eva
  5. Membership – Eric & Jo
  6. It Resources & Maps – Tiffany & Brad

This is a wonderful opportunity to come together as members under the big Ice Age Trail Alliance tent. Alliance leadership will impart crucial information relating to organizational finances, strategic plan, and mission and vision. This Annual Membership Meeting is free and open to all members.

Official Meeting Notice and Proxy Form

Meeting Resource: Board of Director Bios 

A convening of the newly elected Board of Directors.

Wonder what your chances are of meeting a bear? What cowboy camping entails? Or, how people survive heat and ticks on their way to the coveted Thousand-Miler status? This session is your chance to hear Ice Age Trail adventures of those who most recently completed their Thousand-Mile journey. Be inspired, informed, and entertained by the stories!

We’re rolling out the (virtual) red carpet! It’ll be a big night as we celebrate the accomplishments of our tremendously generous volunteers during a year like no other!

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – National Park Service Awards: The Volunteers in the Park (VIP) Awards honor and highlight volunteers’ efforts in supporting the Ice Age Trail. Find out who gets a National Park Service vest or jacket. Each volunteer hour you’ve reported since 2007 makes some impressive cumulative numbers: 100, 250, 500, 1,000, and beyond!

BREAK – 15 minutes

7:15 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Mammoth Achievement Awards: Discover who’ll be the next caretaker of the Spirit Stick, a most cherished and distinguished award. Special recognitions will highlight key areas of achievement: Years of Service, In the Mud, and recent Thousand-Milers. We’ll also recognize our Ray Zillmer and Henry S. Ruess Award winners from 2019, along with the 2020 Trail Steward of the Year, Public Partner, and Friend of the Ice Age Trail award winners.

9:00 a.m. Welcome: Ice Age Trail Alliance staff open the conference with a warm welcome!

9:15 a.m. Wake Up Session: Join us with coffee (or beverage of choice) in hand and be inspired by the first speaker of the day!

Join us for an inspiring line-up of workshops geared towards Trail enthusiasts interested in ensuring the Ice Age Trail is a welcoming space for all.

More details arriving as speakers are confirmed. Stay tuned!

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Workshop Presentation

Stay tuned! Good stuff coming here, soon.








1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Workshop Presentation

Stay tuned! Good stuff coming here, soon.








3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tales form the Trail

Stay tuned! Good stuff coming here, soon.








Join us for a slate of workshops geared towards those college-aged or younger. We’ll focus on topics like nature’s positive influence on health and wellness and the impact of climate change on habitat and trail conditions.

10:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m. Climate Change and the Ice Age Trail

Good stuff coming here, soon. Stay tuned!








1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. From Passion to Profession and Purpose

Join a panel of young professionals who are making their careers with their outdoor passions.

More details coming soon!








3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tales from the Trail

More details coming soon!








Join us for a line-up of workshops geared towards hiking with kids. Learn how to keep your outings fun and imbue them with natural teaching moments.

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Parenting is an Adventure. Take it outside with Hike It Baby.

Good stuff coming soon! Stay tuned.








1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Teaching Off Trail

Peter Dargatz, a kindergarten teacher, will provide tips and tricks about hiking with kids, inspired by his family’s hikes on the Ice Age Trail. Dargatz will also highlight the nature-infused, play-based program and curriculum he developed. One that exceeds curriculum standards while encouraging schools and families to utilize outdoor spaces available to them. He’ll detail his 4-P philosophy, cemented in nature play, citizen science, service learning, and community collaborations.








3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tales from the Trail: The Thousand Mile Journey of the Magic Woolies

More details coming, soon!








James (Jim) Staudacher was the first person to ever thru-hike the Ice Age Trail. The inspiration for the journey of a lifetime came from the very first Ice Age Trail Guidebook, On the Trail of the Ice Age, written by Congressman Henry Reuss and published by the Milwaukee Journal in 1976. The guidebook captured the imagination of then 17-year-old Jim…

In this article, he looks back on the 40th anniversary of this trailblazing event, read more here…

Newly elected Board President, Patty Dreier, brings the conference to a close with words of inspiration for the year ahead.

Conference Resources

We’re happy to provide you with these downloadable offerings.

Conference Registration

A bonus of a virtual event is its affordability!

Fee: $75.00 per household; $25.00 for students (ages 25 and younger).

You may choose to attend ONLY the general Membership Meeting and/or the Awards Ceremony – these two events are FREE.

  • General Membership Meeting ONLY (Friday, April 16 at 1:00 pm) – FREE
  • Awards Ceremony ONLY (Friday, April 16 at 6:30 pm) – FREE

Cancellation Policy: The 2021 virtual Annual Conference and Membership Meeting will be recorded and made available after the event to all paid registrants. If you are registered, but unable to attend during the noted times, you will have access to all the sessions that take place. For this reason, we are not offering any refunds.

Please Note: 

  • You will need to complete a registration form even if you only attending the FREE events. The UW-Madison Continuing Education Program needs your registration information in order to email you the links for the virtual presentations you wish to attend.
  • When completing the online form, you will be asked to create a password specific to this online registration site.

Please Note:

  • You will need to complete a registration form and mail it in, even if the only events you are attending are the FREE events. The UW- Madison Continuing Education Program needs your registration information in order to email you the links for the virtual presentations you wish to attend.
  • If you choose the mail-in registration form option, the UW-Madison Continuing Education Program, handling the conference registration this year, must have your form in hand by April 2, 2021.