Monthly Archives: June 2015

A Ponderosa of her own

By Lisa Gaumnitz, NRF volunteer and local freelancer Erin Crain’s parents planted the seed for her career in natural resources and her passion for restoring her own property on a city lot in Milwaukee in the 1970s. There, her father, an engineer at Delco and her mother, a stay-at-home mom, put into practice the principals of organic and native gardening, long-before such concepts became mainstream.  With sometimes grudging, sometimes  enthusiastic, help from their five kids,...

Community conservation: 25 years of the C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program

By Caitlin Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin The Natural Resources Foundation has been a model for community conservation for more than 25 years by providing hundreds of small, matching grants to local conservation groups in Wisconsin through the C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program. Created in 1990, the program fosters responsible stewardship of Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife by supporting grassroots, community-based projects. To date, the Natural Resources Foundation has awarded $420,000 to more than...

The biggest, baddest Big Day

By Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin It is 4 a.m. and I’m standing in the middle of an empty Wisconsin road waxing philosophical through chattering teeth with two of Wisconsin’s best birders. We’re listening for different species of birds and talking about Aldo Leopold, specifically his fondness for sitting outside this time of night, communing with the birds during their beautiful dawn chorus as they welcome the morning light of the new...

Protecting the state’s wood turtles, one garden at a time

By David Zeug, Foundation guest blogger Any day on the Brule River is a good day. What I didn’t realize when I heard the commotion behind me was that this November day was going to become even more special and lead to a fascination with the wood turtle. Like a buck chasing a doe, the turtles ducked and weaved through the woods along the banks of the river. Surprised by the behavior, I tried to...

The birding bond: Father and son together take on the Great Wisconsin Birdathon

By Matt Reetz, executive director of the Madison Audubon Society, Foundation guest blogger I’m pulled from a deep slumber by a gentle tapping on my elbow. I can hear a faint whisper. My fog lifts slowly and my squinted eyes adjust enough to find the clock. It’s 5:58am on a Sunday. There is a small, adorable person at my bedside. “Daddy…” he whispers again softly. I am able to muster a garbled “Yeah, buddy?” in...

Bad River Youth Outdoors: Good waters, good life

By Caitlin E. Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Bad River Youth Outdoors is gearing up for its third summer of watershed education with tribal youth from the Bad River Ojibwe Indian Reservation, a four-week program designed to get kids outside and to learn more about the waterways of Lake Superior and the Bad River watershed. In its first year, BRYO received funding to purchase equipment from the Natural Resources Foundation’s C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant...

Video’s role in conserving Wisconsin’s wildlife

By Sarah Weber, Foundation guest blogger We’ve all seen the typical nature documentary. Beautiful acoustic music rises up as the screen fades from black into a sunset. We hear the voice of an English narrator telling us about the undisturbed habitat featured as the topic of the film. Close-up shots of wildlife fill the screen, and we learn that we will be following the stories of a few of these wild animals; named something like...