2016 DU Wisconsin Volunteer Conservationist of the Year: Greg Meissner

Greg Meissner and his hunting buddies established the Sturgeon Bay Chapter of Ducks Unlimited nearly 40 years ago and he's been a staple in lower Green Bay conservation efforts ever since.

Meissner grew up hunting with his father and discovered waterfowl hunting while attending college in central Wisconsin. It's now his passion.

"It's the environment, more than anything," he said. "Something about watching the sun come up, the marsh critters waking up and watching the numbers of ducks, sometimes in the thousands under certain conditions, is a drawing point."

He's also formed strong bonds with his chocolate labs over the years and has bred, raised and trained five hunting companions, including his current, Triever.

Meissner is proud to have raised money for DU through the Sturgeon Bay Chapter, because he's supporting an organization that has directly helped the Great Lakes region around him. He and his wife Marsha, are proud to have been able to financially support the ongoing, cooperative project to restore wild rice, celery and other vegetation near the Cat Island Chain in Green Bay.

"I was a biology major in college and I understand the importance of habitat," he said. "It's always more fun to turn over that check to the organization knowing they'll use the money in a pretty wise fashion."

Meissner, who owns Meissner Landscape Inc. in Sturgeon Bay, wants others to continue his work in Wisconsin so future generations can enjoy the land and water.

"If you feel strongly about the future, you can make a significant difference," he said. "Any organization needs good, involved people to make it successful."