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Fri, Sep 15



Cultivating Resilience through Stewarding our Soil

Southern Wisconsin Women in Conservation Regional Summit

Cultivating Resilience through Stewarding our Soil

Time & Location

Sep 15, 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Brooklyn, N 8431, County Hwy E, Brooklyn, WI 53521, USA

About the Event

Are you a Wisconsin woman with a passion caring for our land and ready to take action to steward our landscape for generations to come?

Are you looking for connections with other women who share your passion for building healthy soil through a diverse habitat?

Interested in developing a deeper, respectful understanding of and connection to the land’s indigenous history, culture and practices?

Join us for a day-long intensive where we share and celebrate the stories of women caring for our Wisconsin landscape through sharing of resources, planning practices and more.  Hosted in partnership with Green County Land and Water Conservation Department and Soil Sisters, a project of Renewing the Countryside

Our special guest:

Bonnie McKiernan, a member of the Menominee Nation Tribe of Wisconsin, will be leading us through an indigenous perspective on our connection as women to the land and each other.  Bonnie will take us through a hands-on tea making session creating her “All Seasons Tea” honoring the fall and change of season made with peppermint, mullein & bergamot.

Other highlights of the day include:

*  Tour of Green Haven Gardens with our host, Heather Lynch of Green Haven Gardens.

*  Rainfall simulator demo, led by Tonya Gratz of Green County Land and Water Conservation Department, where you can experience healthy and not-so-healthy soil and how soil health and water holding capacity are impacted by different agricultural production practices. We’ll discuss the relationship of these properties to runoff, erosion and water quantity and share techniques to improve soil health

*  Resource connections and opportunity to ask questions with a fabulous team of conservation organizational representatives.

*  Tea sampling with Bonnie’s teas.

Lunch is provided.  Optional:  Bring a dessert for our afternoon dessert potluck!

$15 registration and scholarships available for anyone who needs one (Please email Lisa Kivirist at

Bonnie McKiernan


I am Wāwīyāēnōtinūkiw

(Wa we yah no tah no key)

Bonnie McKiernan is my English name. My clan is Eagle. I am an enrolled member of the Menominee Nation Tribe of WI, My residence is on the Menominee Reservation in northeast Wisconsin. As a practitioner of Native American medicine and  A-CAM for over 30 years, I have learned traditional healing practices from many tribal elders. I teach and host interactive workshops both at the College of the Menominee Nation and in the community on a phenology trail, which is my outdoor classroom!. It is important to be responsible to my community and planet. My approach is “In natural healing there is never just one way.  One is never trapped with no way out, no matter what has occurred.  There are paths available to you in every circumstance and moment in your life. Our wellness always begins with ‘I want to be well.

Heather Lynch, Green Haven Gardens

A seed-collector and avid grower, Heather Lynch knew that while restoring the land and soil on her homestead would be tough, it was worth the work. A passionate educator, Heather is active in Soil Sisters and serves as a Stewardship Ambassador for the Women, Food & Agriculture Network/WFAN.

Our property was previously cropland for many years, and it's still healing from that. There are areas that have been scraped of all topsoil, and I was told by some neighbors that ‘nothing will grow there.’ But I like a challenge, and in one of those areas is my thriving vegetable garden that now feeds us year round. I knew that adding no till raised beds would allow me to grow food in areas that couldn't support much else, and it would start healing the land at the same time. I had very few earthworms in my garden for the first year here, but I see more and more each year.

Tonya Gratz, Green County Land and Water Conservation Department

Tony Gratz serves as the Soil Conservationist for the Green County Land and Water Conservation Department, providing conservation resources and education for landowners.  A pioneer educator in supporting women landowners, Tonya has created over 20 WiWiC Conservation Land Plans for women in Green County that are part of the Soil Sisters network and she was awarded the Queen Bee award, WiWiC’s highest honor for exemplary conservation educators working with women landowners.

“Working with women landowners, getting out on their property and walking around with them and hearing about their dreams for the land and then being able to help support them in achieving their goals through connection through resources and support is what makes my work as a conservation educator so very rewarding and meaningful.”

About Wisconsin Women in Conservation

WiWiC is a state-wide collaborative effort led by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in partnership with Wisconsin Farmers Union, Renewing the Countryside and Marbleseed (formerly MOSES).  A five-year multi-faceted project funded by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), WiWiC brings together Wisconsin women landowners to connect and learn about conservation practices, resources, and funding opportunities.

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