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Founder James R. Lowenstine


Conserve School was founded by the late James R. Lowenstine, whose dream was to establish a school on his property in Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin, where today's students—tomorrow's leaders—would be educated about the importance of the environment and taught to be stewards of natural resources.

James R. Lowenstine was Chairman of the Board and President of Central Steel & Wire Company until his death in 1996. He conceived the idea of the school somewhere around 1965, as noted in a poem of greeting he wrote for future students:

"To the future young folks of Lowenwood:
I wish you all love, hope, happiness,
And a long and healthful life.
May your understanding of mankind
Be broadened through your association with
And, I am sure, your love of Lowenwood."
—Jim Lowenstine (5-13-1965)

As a longtime property owner in Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin, Jim Lowenstine realized the importance of conserving natural resources and of teaching today's children—tomorrow's leaders—the importance of stewardship.

Jim Lowenstine was a devoted husband. His wife of nearly 30 years, Elaine, died two years before him in 1994. They had no children. The other love of Jim's life was Lowenwood, his Land O' Lakes estate where he lived when not working at Central Steel & Wire in Chicago. He described his long visits there as going "up north," or "going home." He kept Lowenwood pristine. The same was (and is) true of Central Steel & Wire. Both exhibit ample evidence of Jim Lowenstine's attention to quality, neatness, and perfection. Those aspects of his personality, along with his love of nature, played an important role in his plans for Lowenwood.
Through the years, Jim Lowenstine's plans for Lowenwood evolved. At one time, he considered making it an open preserve since he wanted his property to be maintained perpetually in its beautiful, natural condition. This desire eventually led to his decision to establish a school. This solution met his goal of preserving the land and its beauty, while allowing a new generation to be educated about the importance of ecology, wildlife, and nature in general. In his will, he gave a name to this dream—Conserve School—and appointed a set of caring, capable Trustees to make the school a reality.

The initial Conserve School Board of Trustees, all Central Steel & Wire officers, knew Jim Lowenstine well, each having worked with him for 30 years or more. It was their intent to carry out his dream, and to do so with the same attention to detail and quality that he would have given to such an important undertaking.

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