(Courtesy UWSP)

City Parks Commissioner, retired prof, to be honored for conservation efforts

By Patrick Lynn

Stevens Point — Renowned Wisconsin botanist Dr. Robert “Bob” Freckmann will be honored with the Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong contributions to conservation.

The North Central Conservancy Trust (NCCT) nominated Freckmann for the award earlier this year. The award will be presented by Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts, North Central Conservancy Trust (NCCT), and community members on Wednesday, July 17, at 4:30 p.m. at the Schmeeckle Reserve Amphitheater. The event is open to the public.

The Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals who have dedicated their lives to conservation and the protection of Wisconsin’s land, water, and wildlife. Freckmann is a founding member of NCCT, a nationally accredited land trust dedicated to conserving central Wisconsin’s natural heritage. His expertise and dedication have been instrumental in NCCT’s growth, now serving eight counties and holding over 60 conservation easements that protect more than 5,200 acres of land.

Freckmann has been involved in nearly all of NCCT’s land transactions, working with landowners, residents, organizations, and municipalities to address concerns about central Wisconsin’s natural areas. In 2010, Freckmann and his late wife, Sally, donated a conservation easement on their 32-acre property in Stevens Point, which now serves as an outdoor classroom for students and community members.

In addition to his work with NCCT, Freckmann spent nearly 55 years as a biology professor at the UW-Stevens Point, educating over 5,000 students. He helped establish the university’s herbarium in 1968, which now bears his name and houses a collection of 230,000 plants.

Freckmann is also a prolific author, known globally for his work on three genera of grasses in “The Flora of North America North of Mexico.”

Freckmann remains active with NCCT, serving on the Properties Committee and volunteering to lead interpretive hikes and evaluate new conservation projects. He continues to serve on the Stevens Point Parks Commission and has held leadership roles with numerous conservation organizations, including the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society and the Wisconsin Wetlands Association.

Freckmann’s hobbies include home design, trains, and classical music.

For more information about Freckmann, the Land Conservation Leadership Awards, Gathering Waters, or NCCT, visit www.ncctwi.org or call the NCCT office at 715-344-1910.