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.”

Exploring the Canyonlands of the Southwest

The southwest is home to some of America’s most iconic landscapes, as well as several stunning national parks. In March 2020, we will be travelling to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Monument Valley Navajo Park with professional naturalist Paul Regnier and professional geologist Dr. Roger Kuhns.

Hundreds of ‘Birdathonners’ Raise Funds for Bird Conservation Efforts in Wisconsin

The Great Wisconsin Birdathon is one of the most popular “bird-a-thon” style fundraisers in the nation, bringing in over $400,000 since it was created in 2012 to raise funds for bird protection efforts for Wisconsin birds.

Supporting Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin

The Natural Resources Foundation is a proud supporter of Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin, a program that empowers, supports and recognizes schools for nurturing healthy kids and sustainable communities.

A Walk Through Time and Hemlocks

All of this beautiful snow here in Madison reminds me of a winter trip I took to northern Wisconsin, when I had the opportunity to explore a new place: Germain Hemlocks State Natural Area in Oneida County.

Foundation Grants Support Project Wild Child

Every Monday during the school year, nearly 75 students and volunteers with Project Wild Child pile into buses and travel to the nearby school forest for the day. Transportation to the school forest has been made possible for two years in a row thanks to the Foundation’s Go Outside Fund and Teachers Outdoor Environmental Education Fund.

Grant from REI makes a deep impact at Wisconsin’s beloved Devil’s Lake State Park

Devil’s Lake State Park is one of the most highly visited and cherished public properties in Wisconsin. Funding from REI was used to complete critical restoration activities.

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.