We are so proud to share the news that Jim Hlaban has been recognized by River Alliance of Wisconsin as a Wisconsin Water Hero! JIm and his wife Mary are Foundation members, donors, and endowment creators. Below is the nomination written by Lauren Koshere, NRF’s donor relations coordinator.

You can tell a lot about Jim Hlaban’s commitment to conservation from his email signature: “If we don’t do it, who will?” For decades, Jim has focused that commitment on improving and protecting Wisconsin’s waters. Highlights from his long career of volunteer service for waters include assisting with habitat restoration through Fox Valley Trout Unlimited, participating in Conservation Lobby Day at the Capitol, and completing citizen water quality monitoring on streams near his home in Waupaca County. Jim also founded the Friends of the Little Wolf Headwaters and, along with his friend, the late DNR trout biologist and Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame inductee Bob Hunt, helped promote anglers’ unharmed release of trout through the practice of “CPR”–Consider Proper Release.

Jim and his wife, Mary, recently made a commitment to protect Wisconsin’s waters into perpetuity by creating the Wisconsin Water Protection Fund. This donor-advised fund, held by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, will make annual grants to numerous conservation organizations working to protect water resources across the state. As the first fund in the Foundation’s Wisconsin Conservation Endowment created expressly to support Wisconsin’s waters on a statewide level, this endowed fund is an everlasting testament to Jim’s lifelong dedication to protecting and improving Wisconsin’s waters.

Natural Resources Foundation Executive Director Ruth Oppedahl said, “One of the best things about Jim is that he does not work alone. At times he has recruited and coordinated over 25 volunteers to monitor water quality in streams, and he has partnered with other organizations to carry out shore land restoration. His energy and love for water, and all things connected to water, are an inspiration for us all.”

Wisconsin’s threatened reptiles

We have 36 species of reptiles in Wisconsin and more than half of them are listed as endangered, threatened, or a species of special concern. These animals are vulnerable and critically important to the health and balance of our ecosystems.

2018 CD Besadny Conservation Grant Awardees

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has awarded $28,043 to 30 organizations across Wisconsin through the C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund. The fund annually awards grants up to $1,000 that support grassroots conservation and education projects.

Students experience nature untouched by humans at Isle Royale

The Natural Resources Foundation helped fund trip for seventh graders from Phillips Middle School to Isle Royale. Students learn about renewable energy, environmental stewardship, earth science, and history as well as picking up the basics of camping and leave-no-trace ethics.

Nature and Mental Health

Spending time in nature has a physiological effect on the body, reducing blood pressure and the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress. Thus, our time in nature serves to lessen stress and refresh our brains, improving focus, creativity and problem-solving.

Prairie restoration at Faville Prairie SNA

Faville Prairie is a highly diverse prairie with over 200 native prairie plants, but in recent years, invasive shrubs and trees have invaded the remnant prairie resulting in a loss of native species diversity. With support from the Natural Resources Foundation, the Arboretum worked with Tallgrass Restoration, LLC, to remove about eight acres of invasive shrubs and trees as part of a prairie restoration at Faville Prairie SNA.

Kestrel Banding with the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

The Natural Resources Foundation’s kestrel banding Field Trip is a long-time favorite. These trips are so popular that it can be hard to get a spot. Fortunately, one incredible Field Trip participant put together an amazing slideshow to share his experience. 

Diversity in Conservation

The natural world is something that every person living in Wisconsin has a right to enjoy. Historically, however, the underprivileged and people of color have not had the same opportunities to access the outdoors when compared to more privileged communities. We are committed to removing barriers so that every Wisconsinite has a chance to connect with nature.

Importance of bat monitoring to saving Wisconsin’s bats

White-nose syndrome is devastating Wisconsin bat populations, decreasing them by as much as 98% in some locations. Volunteer bat monitors are helping Wisconsin DNR and other groups to assess the impact and, hopefully, save our bats.

Wisconsin’s School Forests Celebrate 90 Years

On a bright, spring fifth of May – like today, but 90 years ago – a small group of students in Laona, Wisconsin planted a tree in a forsaken area outside of town. In 1928, the land around the logging town had been subjected to great deforestation.

Kirtland’s Warbler Recovery, Ongoing Efforts

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to remove the Kirtland’s warbler from the federal endangered species list. Most of us in the conservation community greet news of a species being removed from the endangered species list with mixed emotions.