This year, Wisconsin Wetlands Association is making a special effort to help others experience the wonder and beauty of wetlands.

And we need your help!

To make this effort fun and engaging, we’re excited to announce the 2022-23 Wisconsin Wetlands Association Swampstakes!

The purpose of the Swampstakes is to encourage more people to become members of Wisconsin Wetlands Association and to provide opportunities for our current members to help spread the word about wetlands.

You could be the winner of the Swampstakes Grand Prize: a 1941 Old Town wood canvas canoe lovingly restored by WWA Board Member Jim Ruwaldt. Jim restored this gorgeous canoe to help bring new members to Wisconsin Wetlands Association and increase the engagement of current members. Read more about the canoe below.

This gorgeous canoe isn’t the only prize! Stay tuned for more prize announcements throughout the year. (If you are interested in contributing a prize for the Swampstakes, contact Tracy Hames at 608-250-9971 x1.)

The Swampstakes kicked off on Tuesday, February 15th, at WWA’s Annual Membership Meeting and Trivia Night and will continue for one full year. We will announce the winners of the Swampstakes at our Annual Membership Meeting in February 2023.

Help bring new members to the Wisconsin Wetlands Association—and up your chances of winning the canoe!

You have multiple opportunities to enter the Swampstakes. Each of the following activities gains you an entry:

  • Become a new member giving $30 or more.
  • Recruit a new member who gives $30 or more.
  • Renew your current membership.
  • Organize and host a WWA field tour and/or meet-and-greet event in your community during the Swampstakes (one entry for organizing/hosting and one entry for each event attendee who becomes a new member as a result of that event).
  • Become a Wetland GEM® by signing up to give every month through a recurring monthly donation. (Current Wetland GEMs® are automatically eligible for an entry in the Swampstakes.)
  • Make a legacy gift:
    • Notify us that you’ve included Wisconsin Wetlands Association in your will.
    • Make a gift of stocks, property, or real estate.
    • Notify us that you’ve named Wisconsin Wetlands Association as a beneficiary on your life insurance or retirement plan.
    • Set up a charitable gift annuity.

The more of these things you do, the more chances you have to win! Of course, anyone who sends a postcard to our office (214 N. Hamilton Street, Suite 201, Madison WI, 53703) indicating their interest in the Swampstakes will also be entered (no purchase or donation necessary).

About the canoe

This 1941 Old Town OTCA is a “model AA,” the top of Old Town’s line in 1941. Jim has the original build sheets for the canoe and used them to guide his restoration. The canoe is built with traditional wood and canvas construction, in which canvas is laid over a framework of lightweight cedar planks and ribs. According to the WoodenBoat School:

“This construction method permits a clean, sharp entry and a subtle shape that is difficult to achieve with aluminum or fiberglass. The century-old technology of clenching thin planks to steamed frames and then covering the hull with a tight canvas skin yields an amazingly flexible and rugged craft.”

The thwarts and inwale of the restored canoe are mahogany and the stem and outwale are white ash (learn more about canoe terminology). Jim used dark green paint in this restoration as that was the original color of this canoe. He maintained Old Town’s trademark diamond-shaped bolts and the period-appropriate Old Town decal.

One new feature: the simple green leaves of WWA’s logo now grace the canoe’s bow.

Learn more about canvas-covered Old Town canoes.

The fine print

  • Members of the board and staff of Wisconsin Wetlands Association and their immediate family members are not eligible for the Swampstakes.
  • The winner of the Swampstakes Grand Prize canoe is responsible for picking up and transporting the canoe from southcentral Wisconsin (no delivery).
  • Only one prize per Swampstakes entrant.

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View the recording of this wetland presentation from February 2022.