Seno K/RLT Conservancy is dedicated to sustainable forestry, natural resources education, conservation and land preservation.
What’s in a Name
Since being established in 1993, the Kenosha/Racine Land Trust (K/RLT) has focused on permanently preserving land and restoring critical habitat. Now the land trust owns 53 acres in the Pleasant Prairie/Des Plaines River Basin and holds 19 conservation easements on approximately 1,000 acres in Kenosha and Racine counties. Adding the 213 Seno acres, raises land permanently protected to 1266 acres. Coincidentally, during that same time period, the nearby WWOA Foundation (a.k.a Seno Woodland Education Center) having been founded by the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association (WWOA) with land donated by Dr. Elvira Seno, has directed efforts from its 127-acre facility in western Kenosha County toward educating the public on prudent land management for sustainable forestry practices with related benefits to wildlife and natural beauty. To leverage the strength of each, the two organizations officially merged on June 20, 2014. The name of this organization is now Seno K/RLT Conservancy.
Dr. Elvira Seno and Shirley Peterson’s Legacy
Dr. Seno established a tree farm on her late 1800’s wooded farmstead that she eventually wanted used as an education center focused on sustainable forestry. To prepare for that day Dr. Seno and her brother Les Seno planted an additional 50,000 trees. She also included a generous monetary gift in her estate plan to renovate the barn for related classroom work.
Coincidentally, Dr. Shirley Peterson had a vacation property about 3 miles from the Seno Center, and she too wanted the woods and wetlands she called Drumlin Farm preserved and used for environmental education. To complete her dream, she donated her 83 acre farm to the Foundation along with a generous funds that were turned into an endowment to support our environmental programming.
While K/RLT owned land, it lacked physical facilities required to conduct in depth environmental programs.
Both organizations shared a passion for sustainable land management and land preservation. Both organizations wanted Wisconsin’s forests viably producing commercial wood well into the future. Both organizations believed in preserving wetlands, farmlands and sustainably managing wildlife. The new merged organization provides a stronger platform for achieving these objectives. The merger brought together two like-minded organizations with aligned goals to carry out the legacies of Dr. Elvira Seno and Dr. Shirley Peterson – the two women who made Seno and Drumlin farm possible.
When Dr. Seno put her land into trust, she made certain it would be used for forestry in addition to education. Very few people know that we are a commercial forestry operation right in the midst of Southeastern Wisconsin.
Our trees are grown for dimensional lumber production and managed toward that end. On April 9th, 2016, we planted 1,500 seedlings of White pine, Red and White Oak, Black cherry and Shagbark hickory to replace the Ash that we lost to the Emerald ash borer. The diversity of planting will help to ensure its health and support a wide variety of native species that depend on these trees.
For the next several decades we will be able to enjoy the myriad benefits of these trees.