The Friends of Necedah National Wildlife Refuge have a long tradition of supporting the many worthwhile activities of our wonderful staff. From providing funds for much-needed equipment to volunteers for after-school programs that served over 6,000 youngsters this year alone, we have always been there when needed.
For 2017, we have identified three ambitious projects that will require a lot of time, effort and money to accomplish. Each of these projects have been chosen based on discussions with refuge staff and prioritized according to need. The three projects will all increase the visitor experience and make their visits more meaningful. The projects are:
- Replacing the platform on Goose Pool. $25,000.00
Many of you have used the viewing & fishing platform on Goose Pool and have asked where it went this year. Well, it’s gone because it was in such bad shape that it became hazardous to use. The new platform will be better and bigger than the old one and have many new features. It will be accessible to all and have a viewing scope similar to ones found at other sites on the refuge. The platform will provide for kayak launching. The new platform will be removable for the winter making maintenance easier and prolonging its useful life.
- Refurbishing the Observation Tower. $15,000.00
Over the years, thousands of you have enjoyed the views from the Observation Tower and the great photo opportunities. Now the tower needs our help. We plan to refurbish the tower with fresh paint, general repairs and adding a new scope to the second level. We also plan on replacing the scope on the top level if we raise enough funds.
- Developing the Ellen Allen Amphitheater site. $10,000.00
When the new visitor center opened in 2011, the Ellen Allen classroom needed to be razed. Since then, we have envisioned an outdoor amphitheater at the site to give the many kids who visit the refuge another opportunity to learn about nature and the environment. The site will include benches and interactive areas to enhance the educational experience. The site is just east of the visitor center and already has a path installed.
Wow, that’s an exciting plan for 2017. The next question is how we plan to pay for these efforts. Here’s the good news. We have already raised about $7,000.00 with our silent auctions throughout 2016. Friends members have donated another $3,000.00 since this campaign began and we also have committed another $5,000.00 of our funds. That leaves us with a need of $35,000.00 to realize our dreams. We will be applying for some small grants but there’s no guarantee of success.
To fund the balance of these efforts, we’ve created a unique opportunity for you to help us succeed. If you’ve visited the refuge lately, I’m sure you have seen the beautiful tree painted on the wall leading to the patio. That “Giving Tree” was painted by Jay Jocham, a nationally recognized artist and proud Friends member to symbolize the gateway to the refuge and its many adventures. We plan to give the tree life by placing “leaves” on it that you donated. There are three levels of leaves: Gold – $500; Silver – $250.00 and Copper – $100.00. Each leaf can be personalized with your name and the year of your donation. There is a convenient form below for you to use.
All donations to the Friends of Necedah National Wildlife Refuge are tax deductible and your employer may be willing to match your contribution under their charitable plan.
I want to thank you in advance for your contribution and your continuing support of our efforts. These projects are all important and we know you will support them by sending your check today and letting us know what you want your leaf.to commemorate. Your message is limited to two lines of 18 characters each (including spaces). For now, send your check to Friends of NNWR, N11385 Headquarters Rd, Necedah WI 54646. Our new and improved website will soon have the PayPal option available for you but time is critical so act now.
Dick Roellig, Fund Raising Chair