New endowment fund set to help bolster natural resources education opportunities at Tomahawk Public Library

(Photo courtesy of the Tomahawk Public Library)

(Photo courtesy of the Tomahawk Public Library)

This month marks the first annual disbursement of the Tomahawk Public Library Natural Resources Education Fund, which will support natural resources education at the library through public programs, books, media and related educational materials. Established by David and Joyce Weizenicker of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, and managed by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, the fund will provide opportunities for kids to learn about—and experience—the natural world around them.

“I have always been an avid reader and while growing up in Tomahawk was a frequent user of the library resources,” David said. “When Joyce and I had an opportunity to provide a long-term financial gift, we thought of the Tomahawk Public Library and natural resource education programming. Establishing an endowment with the Foundation ensures a reliable income stream on an annual basis and gives the library staff more support.”

The Tomahawk Public Library already includes natural resources education in their programming by bringing in Wisconsin environmental organizations to talk about raptors, butterflies and other wildlife. Each August Children’s Librarian Annette Miller leads a program called “Stories by the River,” where she reads to kids along the Wisconsin River, which runs right outside of the library. In addition to helping cover the costs of additional story programs focused on natural resources, the Tomahawk Public Library Natural Resources Education Fund will also help pay for broadening the library’s natural resources book and reference collection for children.

“This is going to provide us with the opportunity to do so much more to connect kids—and even adults—both with nature and the library,” said Miller, who encourages children to spend some time outside after reading a book. “If we can do that, it will remind kids to be caretakers of our environment and explorers of the world around them. We’re really excited to see what great things we might be able to do with this generous gift.”

David served as the Wisconsin State Parks Director between 1981 and 1998. He and his wife Joyce previously created the David & Joyce Weizenicker State Parks Fund, which provides support for increasing access to Wisconsin’s Public natural areas, parks, and trails for the elderly and those with special needs. The Tomahawk Public Library Natural Resources Education Fund was established in memory of David’s father, who was an avid hunter, fisherman and trapper.

“There’s no doubt that this wonderful fund is going to make a big difference both for families in the Tomahawk community and for conservation in Wisconsin,” said Ruth Oppedahl, executive director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, which holds $4.12 million in endowed funds that support the conservation of lands, waters and wildlife in the state. “Helping kids connect with nature today will ensure that they will help protect it tomorrow.”

# # #

Photo courtesy of the Tomahawk Public Library

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin provides sustainable funding for Wisconsin’s most imperiled species and public lands, while helping citizens connect with our state’s unique natural places. Learn more at