Sessions – 2018 Annual Conference

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center is the home to the 2018 IATA Annual Conference.

SESSIONS – THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2018

Bookworm Gardens. Join the staff of the Bookworm Gardens, a whimsical spot in Sheboygan. It’s a gem of a place where nature, literature and the imagination all come to life. They’ll highlight the delights of the environment they’ve created in this intriguing place and the programs they’ve designed for kids of all ages. You may gain some great ideas to employ for future Tyke hikes or other programs for our youngest Trail enthusiasts. (This is NOT a tour. Bookwork Gardens in not open in April.)

Geology of the Ice Age Trail in Eastern Wisconsin. The Ice Age history of eastern Wisconsin will be brought to life by David Mickelson, Professor Emeritus, U.W. – Madison Department of Geoscience. He’ll tell the fascinating story of the northern Kettle Moraine (think the new Walla Hi Segment), the younger ice advances, and the 14,000 year-old Two Creeks buried forest in Manitowoc County. Point Beach and Woodland Dunes will be woven into the lively tales as well.

Journey to the top of North America. Gaining Thousand-Miler status takes effort, fortitude, and commitment. You’ll appreciate, then, the ambition and courage of Debbie Posewitz, a Sheboygan native. How does “a girl from Wisconsin, where there are no mountains, train to climb Denali?” Living without creature comforts for 23 days Posewitz carried a 50-pound pack and pulled 60 pounds on a sled up to the highest point in North America. Her big-hearted purpose made mountaineering even more joyful and meaningful.

Thousand-Miler Adventures. One-of-a-kind stories abound as recent Thousand-Milers relive their days on the IAT. Immerse yourself in the tales of amazing kindnesses of Trail Angels and the nitty-gritty details of a life-altering journey.

Walking on Home Ground. Author and Waukesha/Milwaukee Chapter member, Robert Root, will share from his book, Walking Home Ground. It’s a lyrical mix of memoir, travel writing, and environmental history. Hoping to better connect to his new home in southeast Wisconsin, Bob not only read the writing of three Wisconsin luminaries who were deeply rooted in place — John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and August Derleth—but also walked the same terrain they walked and wrote about. Along the way, he investigates the changes to the natural landscape over nearly two centuries, and he chronicles his own transition from someone on unfamiliar terrain to someone secure on his home ground.

What’s on Tap: The 2018 Trailbuilding Season. Whether it’s crafting boardwalks and bridges, learning and sharing new skills, or meeting new people and seeing new places, the trailbuilding season ahead is representative of our steadfast commitment to creating, supporting, and protecting the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Join Tim Malzhan and learn what’s on tap for new and existing Trail segments in 2018.

SESSIONS – FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018

Annual Membership Meeting with Board of Director Elections. 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. No registration required. Bios for candidates to the Board of Director Bios available for download [PDF].

Chapter Leader Summit: A discussion of activities and events chapter leaders consider to create a robust, well-run organization serving its membership, community, and the Trail at large. The list is long and ranges from Trail Improvement Days, to organized hikes and runs, to newsletters, social media, and chapter budgets. Come learn new, fresh ideas or fine-tune the concepts that are already working! Share ideas on how we can make the process exhilarating and invigorating, as we become more efficient, proficient, and share the work-load.

Keynote: That Tree-An Unintended Adventure. Mark Hirsch, an inspiring speaker, photographer, and artist, likes to tell the story of how he, while recovering from a near fatal car accident in January of 2013, was encouraged by a friend to use his iPhone like a camera. This inspired him to embark on a unique adventure of making a photo-a-day of a lone bur oak tree in a Wisconsin cornfield. Mark’s time in the valley with That Tree provided him with a transformative and therapeutic adventure of self-discovery, inspiration, and enlightenment.

SESSIONS – SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 2018

Backpacking Track. Something new this year is a full slate of sessions dedicated to hiking your best hike on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, whether you are a section hiker, or a thru-hiker. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to deepen your backpacking know-how with plenty of advice from experienced hikers and backpacking experts.

NOTE: Sessions begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 4:15 p.m. (Special pricing available for those who only attend the Backpacking Track.) See complete listing of Backpacking Track sessions.

Collaborative Fundraising. Join Luke Kloberdanz, IATA Director of Philanthropy, and Bob Lange, IATA Philanthropic Advisor, for a discussion about creating impactful fundraising for Chapters and state-wide initiatives.

Hikers’ Forum. Wondering what the chances are of meeting a bear, what cowboy camping entails, or how people survive heat and ticks on their way to the coveted 1,000-miler status? This session is your chance to hear crazy, make-you-want-to-hike-the-trail stories of those who’ve made the journey.

Land/Trail Protection in the 21st Century. Join Kevin Thusius, IATA Director of Land Conservation for insight into methods and partnership models designed to protect the Ice Age Trail for the next generation and beyond.

My Prairie Story. Travel the path that brought Joanne Ellarson, IATA staff, to prairie restoration work. Learn how this interest now intersects with her volunteer work on the Trail and provides inspiration for the IATA garden she maintains.

Walking on Home Ground. Author and Waukesha/Milwaukee Chapter member, Robert Root, will share from his book, Walking Home Ground. It’s a lyrical mix of memoir, travel writing, and environmental history. Hoping to better connect to his new home in southeast Wisconsin, Bob not only read the writing of three Wisconsin luminaries who were deeply rooted in place — John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and August Derleth—but also walked the same terrain they walked and wrote about. Along the way, he investigates the changes to the natural landscape over nearly two centuries, and he chronicles his own transition from someone on unfamiliar terrain to someone secure on his home ground.

What’s on Tap: The 2018 Trailbuilding Season. Whether it’s crafting boardwalks and bridges, learning and sharing new skills, or meeting new people and seeing new places, the trailbuilding season ahead is representative of our steadfast commitment to creating, supporting, and protecting the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Join Tim Malzhan and learn what’s on tap for new and existing Trail segments in 2018.