The Geneva Lake Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of environmentally sensitive lands, open space and the unique character and quality of life of Walworth County, Wisconsin. Working with landowners, and government officials, the Conservancy advocates private and public land use and management decisions that assure responsible growth and protection of natural and historic resources.
Increase Lapham is generally considered the founder of the conservation movement in Wisconsin. Arriving in Milwaukee three days before Wisconsin became a territory in 1836, Lapham kept careful records on the environment that served as models for those who followed him. In the 1850’s, when Henry David Thoreau and George Perkins Marsh were advocating similar concepts in New England, Lapham began to argue for an ecological point of view toward the Wisconsin frontier. In 1855 he urged the state legislature to authorize a natural history survey before any more of Wisconsin’s native species became extinct under the brunt of white settlement and industrialization. He also warned about the devastation of state forests, fifty years before it became an issue of national importance. Lapham’s book, “Report on the Disastrous Effects of the Destruction of Forest Trees, Now Going on So Rapidly in the State of Wisconsin”, published in 1867, was one of the first books to stress the importance of natural resources.
The White River County Park is a 195 acre property at the intersection of Sheridan Springs Road and Short Road in the Town of Lyons. The Park has outstanding access to the White River (over 9,200 lineal feet of frontage) as well as lush wetlands, forest and uplands currently in agricultural use.