2016 Press Releases

Girls from Highland Elementary work in their school gardenSchools in Wisconsin receive more than $13,000 for environmental education (Nov. 23, 2016)
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has awarded $13,150 to 15 Wisconsin schools through the Teachers’ Outdoor Environmental Education Fund (TOEEF). The program awards grants to public school teachers (k-12) for projects focused on outdoor environmental science education. “We want to give children the opportunity to get outside and to explore the lands and wildlife that make Wisconsin so unique,” said Caitlin Williamson, the Foundation’s program and development coordinator.
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Tomahawk Public Library supports conservation education with Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin endowmentGenerous donors ensure future of environmental education at local public library 
(Nov. 14, 2016)
After a final contribution to the fund, David and Joyce Weizenicker have succeeded in meeting their $100,000 goal for the Tomahawk Public Library Natural Resources Education Fund. The endowment fund, managed by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, is expected to disburse as much as $5,000 annually to be used for programming and materials directly related to natural resources and environmental education. The library plans on integrating environmental education into lessons on reading and language arts through outdoor events and special programs.  Read more

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Besadny grants for local conservationMore than $28,000 awarded for community projects (Nov. 1, 2016)
The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has awarded $28,370 to 30 applicants through the 2016 C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program. The program annually awards grants to projects that involve the management and restoration of Wisconsin’s natural resources or focus on natural resources education and outreach. The 2016 projects range from restoring rare and important landscapes to improving understanding of natural resources through mobile technology. Read more

 

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batoberfest-label-1Capital Brewery supports Bat Conservation Fund with Bat-Oberfest celebration and custom brew (Oct. 20, 2016)
On Friday, October 28, 2016 starting at 5:00 pm the Capital Brewery Bier Stube in Middleton will host a truly batty Halloween pre-party. Beverages and snacks will be available for purchase and costumes are encouraged. And Capital Brewery has created a special Bat-Oberfest brew for the occasion. Bat-Oberfest sales will help raise money for the Bat Conservation Fund held by NRF and will support research, monitoring, and protection efforts for Wisconsin’s native bat species. A special showing of “Battle for Bats” documenting the battle against white-nose syndrome now threatening bats in Wisconsin. Read more

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Chippewa River on a 2015 field trip. Photo by Cait WilliamsonLower Chippewa River Basin receives $75,000 for wetland restoration proejcts (September 19, 2016)
The Natural Resources Foundation was one of several project partners that helped the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources secure a $75,000 grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA). The two projects will help restore invaluable wildlife habitat along the Lower Chippewa River Basin, one of Wisconsin’s most bio-diverse ecosystems. One project will restore the 60-acre Dunnville Oxbow wetland basin to improve habitat for birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. A second project on Powell Lake will install a culvert and dike, in order to provide habitat for wood ducks and other waterfowl. Read more.

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Fish Protection Fund distributes nearly $125,000 to study fish passage and fish protection measures on the Lower Chippewa River (July 19, 2016)
The Chippewa River Protection and Restoration Fund (CRPRF)–a natural resource settlement funded by Xcel Energy and held by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin–made its first distributions from the Fish Protection Fund, one of its two sub-accounts. The funding will be used to research methods to help prevent fish from being entrained in, or passing through, turbines at hydroelectric dams on the Lower Chippewa River, and to analyze the genetics of lake sturgeon populations in the river. “These projects represent an important step forward in evaluating the need for safe passage of Wisconsin’s native fish species at hydroelectric dams of the Lower Chippewa River,” said Ruth Oppedahl. Read more
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New trail opens up southern section of Kinnickinnic State Park for year-round public access (June 29, 2016)
Visitors to Kinnickinnic State Park along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in St. Croix County have an exciting amenity awaiting them on their next visit—a new hiking and snowshoeing trail that will introduce them to a previously inaccessible part of the park. Two of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin’s endowment funds provided financial support for the creation of the trail. The Norma & Stanley DeBoer Quiet Trails Fund helps create and maintain  walking trails on public lands in Wisconsin and the David & Joyce Weizenicker Fund for State Parks supports projects that facilitate accessibility for senior citizens to Wisconsin’s state parks.“This new hiking trail will connect people to nature by giving them an opportunity to explore the forest and prairie in this new state park,” said Ruth Oppedahl. Read more

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20160525_145804_resizedBinoculars and guidebooks in hand, Lincoln Elementary students learn while raising money for birds May 25 (May 24, 2016)
Most of the students in Laurie Solchenberger’s 4th grade class at Lincoln Elementary School in Madison do not come from families that bird nor have they used binoculars before they set foot in her class. But this week, her 9- and 10-year-old students celebrate the culmination of a year spent learning about their backyard birds by helping raise money for projects to conserve birds. The Lincoln Birders – 4th grade! are one of dozens of Wisconsin teams participating in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. “Identifying birds and learning more about them is an easy and engaging way to get all students involved in learning complex topics,” Solchenberger says. Read more.

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Foundation now accepting applications for conservation and education grants (May 2, 2016)
The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is calling for grant applications for its two matching small grants programs, the C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program and the Teachers’ Outdoors Environmental Education Grant Program. The Besadny program awards grants to projects that involve the management and restoration of Wisconsin’s natural resources and/or focus on natural resources education and outreach. The Teachers’ Outdoors program awards grants to projects focused on outdoor environmental education. Both programs provide grants of up to $1,000.  Read more.

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Society of Tympanuchus Cupido Pinnatus establishes fund with Foundation to protect Wisconsin’s birds (April 14, 2016)
The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has established a new endowment fund for bird conservation in the state, thanks to the Society of Tympanuchus Cupido Pinnatus, Ltd. When STCP dissolved last year, its board wanted to distribute part of the organization’s remaining assets in such a way that would continue in the spirit of the group’s mission. They have now used those funds to establish the Wisconsin Bird Fund—A Legacy Fund of the Society of Tympanuchus Cupido Pinnatus, Ltd. with the Foundation. “The Foundation is honored to help carry forth the Society’s venerable conservation legacy through this important fund,” said Camille Zanoni, development director for the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Read more

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NickPicnicTable_RBradyAll-star birding teams take on 2016 Great Wisconsin Birdathon starting April 15 (April 12, 2016)
Eight teams of hot-shot birders will fan out across Wisconsin in search of as many bird species as they can find during the fifth annual Great Wisconsin Birdathon, which starts April 15 and runs through June 15. The Great Wisconsin Birdathon, a project of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and partners, aims to raise $70,000 this year for bird conservation, with help from these “signature teams.” “Our signature teams represent the best of Wisconsin’s birders, both in terms of their birding skills and in their passion for bird conservation,” said Diane Packett, coordinator of the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. Read more

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Wisconsin’s most popular field trip program bigger than ever in 2016 (March 17, 2016)
The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is offering 188 expert-led field trips around the state this year, a 25 percent increase from last year’s season and more than any previous year. The popular program offers unique opportunities for all ages and abilities to explore Wisconsin’s public lands, waters and wildlife by foot, bike, boat and even train.  Since 1994, nearly 40,500 individuals have attended Foundation field trips. “The popularity of our field trip program is a true testament to Wisconsin’s commitment to the state’s precious natural resources,” said Ruth Oppedahl, Foundation executive director.  Read more

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Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin helps enhance public hiking trails (March 14, 2016)
Hiking trails provide direct access to Wisconsin’s public lands, but can be difficult to maintain as the result of extensive foot traffic and erosion. The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin’s Norma and Stanley DeBoer Quiet Trails Fund aims to help organizations create, maintain and promote public hiking trails. This year the fund disbursed nearly $4,400 to four trail projects in Wisconsin. “These trails help directly connect people to nature, giving them an opportunity to experience our state’s beautiful natural resources in a way that is safe for people and the wilderness around them,” said Ruth Oppedahl, executive director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Read more.

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Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin receives grant to help improve health of Lake Michigan shoreline (February 24, 2016)
Thanks to a $60,000 grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin will this year support partner organizations in conducting a comprehensive coastal assessment of the Lake Michigan shoreline in southeastern Wisconsin. The grant will ultimately result in a conservation plan for shoreline restoration and water quality improvement. Read more

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Hunters and anglers boosted support for wildlife habitat management in 2015 (February 18, 2016)
Hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts said “yes” to the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund in 2015, donating more than $93,200 for habitat management in the state when buying hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports licenses. This marks a 7 percent increase in donations in the fund’s second full year compared to its first in 2014. “More and more hunters and anglers are hearing about the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund and are recognizing it as an opportunity to make a big difference for Wisconsin,” said Ruth Oppedahl, executive director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Read more

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IMG_1912Bird conservation gets a boost from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin (February 9, 2016)
In January, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin disbursed more than $47,500 through its Bird Protection Fund to projects that protect Wisconsin’s birds throughout the course of their life cycle. Since the Bird Protection Fund was established in 2007, it has contributed more than $223,200 to bird conservation efforts in Wisconsin. “The Bird Protection Fund embodies the notion that we are stronger together than we are alone,” said Barb Barzen, the Natural Resources Foundation’s development associate for programs. Read more

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Tom and TimNatural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin  welcomes two new board members (January 28, 2016)
Two new board members have joined the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin this year: Tim Eisele, freelance outdoor writer and photographer; and Tom Dott, vice president of commercial banking at First Business Bank, both from Madison. That brings the total number of trustees to 21 this year, with expertise ranging from zoology, botany and ecology to finance, public relations and leadership. Read more

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azure bluets_Fyn Kynd PhotographyWisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund applications due Feb. 1 (January 22, 2016)
The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin today announced the creation of the LaBarbera-Vaughn Outdoor Heritage Fund, which is the first of the Foundation’s funds to support outdoor sporting education specifically. Foundation board treasurer Mark LaBarbera and his wife Coni Vaughn LaBarbera created the fund as a way to give back to the state’s natural resources and future generations. Read more

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Mark Coni hunting (2)New outdoor heritage fund marks first of its kind for the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin (January 14, 2016)
The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin today announced the creation of the LaBarbera-Vaughn Outdoor Heritage Fund, which is the first of the Foundation’s funds to support outdoor sporting education specifically. Foundation board treasurer Mark LaBarbera and his wife Coni Vaughn LaBarbera created the fund as a way to give back to the state’s natural resources and future generations. Read more