John Lawler and Mary Flynn in their backyard garden in Eau Claire

John Lawler and Mary Flynn in their backyard garden in Eau Claire.

John Lawler and Mary Flynn first bought property along the Chippewa River in southern Sawyer County over 30 years ago. They started with a couple of acres, built a cabin in 1991 and, motivated to protect the area from development, continued to add contiguous acres as they were able.

Through the years, John and Mary have cared for the land with a strong stewardship ethic. The couple made modest trails and enjoyed observing wildlife, including bears, bobcats, eagles, birds, and bats.
“[Nature is] going to long outlive us,” said Mary. “It’s important to keep nature healthy; nature keeps us healthy.”
Mary Flynn

In recent years, they decided they were content to retain 8 acres where their cabin is situated and approached Landmark Conservancy about donating 12 acres to use in a manner that would best benefit Landmark’s conservation mission.

“An unrestricted gift of assets is so powerful during this time of our rapid organizational growth,” said Advancement Director Kristin Thompson. “Generous support from individuals like John and Mary is helping Landmark respond to conservation needs across northwest Wisconsin.”

The Chippewa River's wooded banks and a deer in the foreground.
Both the donors and Landmark were thrilled earlier this year with the outcome of the sale to a conservation-minded buyer who plans to enjoy the land with their children. Funds will be utilized primarily for operating expenses and organizational growth, with a portion of the sale being reserved for future land protection through acquisition.

If you are interested in making a gift of property to Landmark, please contact us at 715-235-8850 or