2018 Annual Report | fontenelleforest.org
Letter from the Board President Dear Friends of Fontenelle Forest,
Fontenelle Forest 1111 Bellevue Blvd. North Bellevue, NE 68005
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Merica Whitehall
2018 BOARD of DIRECTORS Jon Hansen - President Angela Athy - President-Elect Susan Haddix - Secretary Kelly Mann - Treasurer Ann Christiansen - Past President
This past August, I listened to author Richard Louv at an event hosted by the Forest. When he described his youth and how nature allowed him to escape to the outdoors and create a world of adventure I remembered my own youth. Louv stirred memories of my childhood and friends, growing up next to a field of tall grass, woodlands and creek. It was there that I discovered nature’s wonder as I was able to escape me and to let my imagination go free. John Muir noted that, “The power of imagination makes us infinite.” Rousseau wrote, “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” And, Albert Einstein believed that, “Imagination is better than knowledge.” This is what I love about Fontenelle Forest and all that it offers our community! Located in an urban setting, the Forest is that nearby field, stream and woodland where people can go to enjoy the quiet wild of nature. Here, our youth can go to connect to the natural world and expand their mind and experiences. We are so fortunate to have the unique treasure available to us all! 2018 saw many accomplishments at the Forest. I would like to share just a few with you: •
Fontenelle Forest strengthened its commitment to be a community partner and to assure that everyone living in the Metro Area has access to nature by kicking off a new partnership with area libraries that makes visiting the Forest free for families. Opening the Louis F. “Chip” Davis Eagle Mew has been a crowning jewel of our Raptor Woodland Refuge and has expanded programming to highlight the magnificent creature that serves as America’s national symbol. Acquisition of the 40-acre Camp Wa-Kon-Da overnight campground facility completed a vision that was originally birthed by the Fontenelle Forest’s Board of Directors in 1946. And, Trail Revitalization of Fontenelle Forests most highly used trails began and efforts to improve trails for increased access, safety, and environmental sustainability began.
Dan Bolt Alexis Boulos Catherine Demes Maydew Ryan Gibson Wendy Goldberg Mace Hack Andrew Huettner Nickie Konen Scott Marble Chris Morrow Don Preister Athena Ramos Brittni Redding Jim Ristow Todd Rivers Barbara Stratman Ray Turkle
HONORARY TRUSTEES Mogens Bay Susan and George Haddix Gerry and Bruce Lauritzen Marilyn Mammel Ann Pape Walter Scott, Jr.
Jon Hansen Jon Hansen, Board President 2018
HONORARY STEWARDS Shawn Bengtson Charles Gifford Jeffry Green Neal and Debra Ratzlaff
I am very proud of the hard work that Fontenelle Forest’s board, staff, and volunteers have done to increase the Forest’s impact in our community and to strengthen its financial sustainability. On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like extend our deep gratitude to Fontenelle Forest’s supporters. Your generosity and passion for sharing nature has made it possible for Fontenelle Forest to become accessible to all who live and work in our community! The board is proud to share Fontenelle Forest’s great achievements with you in this 2018 Annual Report. Sincerely,
Hiking Child’s Hollow in 1920
The Riverview Boardwalk in modern day
$ 1: Obtain long-term financial sustainability with greater diversification of revenue streams. • Create and implement plans to increase earned income through visitors, rentals, and programming. • Explore possibilities for leasing partnerships.
3: Create a value proposition and organization culture that attracts and retains diverse top talent. • Conduct staff and volunteer survey to understand perceptions and engagement (e.g., recognition, advancement, communication). • Conduct compensation study to outline fair pay and created a plan to get there.
5: Increase awareness of the value of FF both within and outside the local community. • Create, prioritize, and implement plan to assess and attract low attendance groups from the greater Omaha Metro Area. • Create, prioritize, and implement plan to attract tourists coming to Omaha for other big events. • Identify and share the value of Fontenelle Forest with local strategic partners and facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships.
2: Create a diverse and accessible forest experience where there is something for everyone. • Create structure, tools, and resources around Fontenelle Forest’s current offerings • Ensure accessibility and allow visitors to easily customize their experience. • Develop a plan and infrastructure for nature preschool.
4: Maintain top notch facilities and further conserve land and natural resources. • Create, prioritize, and implement a longterm land management and conservation plan. • Create and implement a plan for facility reinvestment and stewardship
6: Align internally to expand the reach of FF beyond its physical boundaries. • Utilize and leverage research taking place at Fontenelle Forest • Increase educational impact. • Create and implement plan to increase collaboration with local environmental groups for learning and expanded reach.
Master Plan Priorities and Progress Louis F. “Chip” Davis, Jr. Eagle Mew
The Chip Davis Eagle Mew opened to the public October 5, the capstone project that completes Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Woodland Refuge (RWR). The refuge received generous capital support from Fontenelle Forest’s Honorary Trustees. Standing out as one of the most uniquely and beautifully designed raptor exhibits in the US, RWR has become a top attraction at Fontenelle Forest. Garnering more media attention than any other Forest program area, RWR has vaulted Fontenelle Forest’s statewide raptor rescue and rehabilitation program into the national spotlight. In 2018, Fontenelle Forest leveraged our programmatic success and media attention to increase public participation in raptor programs, and increase volunteer support by more than 10%. In 2019, Fontenelle Forest will launch a new partnership with the Edgerton ExplorIt Center in Aurora, NE. This partnership is a pilot that will allow Fontenelle Forest to develop new revenues by exporting our services and expertise to like-minded organizations throughout the region.
Construction began in March of 2018
Betsy Finch, Merica Whitehall, Chip Davis, and Denise Lewis celebrated the finished construction in May 2018.
Camp Wa-kon-da is a 38-acre camprground owned by the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Fontenelle Forest will become the owner/operator of Camp Wa-kon-da in 2019. Through a new strategic partnership, we will continue to partner with the Boy Scouts for their use of Camp Wa-kon-da. Key opportunities include the following: 1. Secures Fontenelle Forest’s public access to three trails leading to historic sites; and increases security and controlled access to our property. 2. Promotes our Save the Oaks Restoration efforts by allowing our team to initiate land management on a contiguous property. 3. New and expanded revenue-generating programs and activities will be developed for the Camp Wa-kon-da site including: a. Overnight camping space rental for visitors, members, and community partners b. Group retreats and private event rentals c. New site for camps and programs d. Future site for master plan projects
37 NEW ACRES at Camp Wa-Kon-Da
In 2018, Fontenelle Forest contracted with Forestoration, a member of the Professional Trail Builders Association, to complete a comprehensive assessment of our trail systems at Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods. Following completion of the trails assessment three high use, seriously eroded, and hazardous trails were identified as high priority and repaired. In 2019, we will be planning a trail loop intended for leashed dogs and trail runners. Our investment in creating these new ways for visitors and members to experience Fontenelle Forest will increase visitation, membership, and create new revenues through events like races and walk-a-thons.
The revitalization of the Neale Woods Nature Center is underway. Donor support and creative partnerships have made it possible to reinvest in Neale Woods and the Carl Jonas Interpretive Center. After years of inattention, Fontenelle Forest’s staff team and volunteers completed facilities repairs and parking lot improvements that have enhanced the use, safety, and aesthetics of Neale Woods. The Blue Barn Theatre’s adaptation of “The Tempest” performed at Neale Woods throughout October brought new visitors. In 2018 more than $100,000 was raised for the improvement of Neale Woods including a multiyear gift from the Gifford Family Foundation. In 2018 community stakeholders have been engaged to support our organizational learning as Fontenelle Forest prepares to plan and implement the renovation of Neale Woods as a 3-5 year priority. Stakeholder engagement also included a concept design process conducted by students at Iowa State University. In 2019, Neale Woods will have a dedicated ranger fulltime working and living on-site to focus on upkeep, use, safety, and aesthetics of the Neale Woods property and facilities. The availability of public potable water has been a challenge since decommissioning of the well several years ago. In January a new well will be drilled and made operational. This is an important first step in the eventual renovation of the Carl Jonas Interpretive Center at Neale Woods.
Repairs to well-loved and heavily-trod trails near the Nature Center
ISU students meet to create a new concept design for the Nature Center and property
Development and Marketing
2018 PRESS BY THE NUMBERS: 90 print articles 61 TV news stories 6 radio stories 35 Press releases 2018 Press highlights: Stories of Black Widow Spiders identified and rescued by Fontenelle Forest Naturalist Debbie Beck made news across the country from California to Florida. Fontenelle Forestâ€™s Raptor department saw the most news with articles and TV stories across the state about bandings, releases, and Fisher, the Bald Eagle at our Raptor Woodland Refuge.
Development and Marketing DEVELOPMENT NUMBERS, 2018 Total number of donations in 2018: 1,743 Retained donors from 2017-2018: 241
MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS, 2018 Memberships sold in 2018: 5,376 Membership revenue from 2018: $322,000
2018 CORPORATE AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS
2018 AWARDS & RECOGNITION: 2018 Non-Profit of the Year Award from the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce 2018 Nebraska Passport Destination Fontenelle Forest was chosen as the only stop to represent Bellevue, Nebraska by the Nebraska Tourism Commission.
2018 FEATHER OUR NEST ANNUAL GALA The Fontenelle Forest Guild raises roughly $200,000 each year during their annual gala. The Guild is a volunteer support organization established in 1969 to promote the advancement and growth of Fontenelle Forest. The Guild is dedicated to protecting and preserving all Fontenelle Forest properties and to supporting and promoting their educational activities and programs.
2018 Best of Omaha Awarded one of three top Childrenâ€™s Attractions in the Omaha Metro by Omaha Magazine for 2018 and again for 2019.
Sustaining Pilot Programs Both the Library Pass Program and the Baright Gallery Artist Series were initially just ideas. With support, we were able to embark on pilot projects. Today, we have grown support for both of these efforts from other funding sources, allowing the programs to continue and grow. Investment in Fontenelle Forest’s general operating fund, allows us to take risks, to try out new ideas, and to demonstrate our ability to successfully strengthen our efforts to fulfill our mission.
LIBRARY PASS PROGRAM In the inaugural year of the Library Pass Program, families can check out a pass to Fontenelle Forest like a book at all Omaha, Bellevue and Council Bluffs libraries. Passes will be available year-round and are good for one time use on the day of the week designated on the pass and admits two adults and children under the age of 18 from their household. Individuals can check out the pass for the day they are interested in visiting Fontenelle Forest. “Fontenelle Forest is a beautiful space in which to explore and learn,” said Omaha Public Library Executive Director Laura Marlane.
Florence Branch Omaha Public Library
Saddlebrook Branch Omaha Public Library
Milton R. Abrahams Branch Omaha Public Library
Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch Omaha Public Library
Charles B. Washington Branch Omaha Public Library Benson Branch Omaha Public Library
W. Clarke Swanson Branch Omaha Public Library A.V. Sorensen Branch Omaha Public Library Millard Branch Omaha Public Library
Public library partnership participants as of December 10. In 2018, support from Honorary Trustees facilitated the implementation of this pilot partner program
W. Dale Clark Library Omaha Public Library
Willa Cather Branch Omaha Public Library
Council Bluffs Public Library
South Omaha Library Omaha Public Library
Bellevue Public Library
Sustaining Pilot Programs BARIGHT GALLERY ARTIST SERIES Since 2017, the artist series has hosted seven exhibits showcasing diverse interpretations of the natural world and people’s relationships and connections to it. Artists with a diversity of gender, artistic medium, and cultural ethnicity, highlighted issues related to the environment and sustainability. The Baright Gallery Artist Series showcases the beauty, history, and the community directly connected to Fontenelle Forest.
2018 exhibits: “Floodplain: A Clear View of Life in the Big Muddy” | photography exhibit by Alex Wiles To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, photographer Alex Wiles displayed the animals living in and sustained by the Missouri River, in clear view, which is often obstructed by the river’s muddy water. Opening Day Admissions: 127 Opening Day membership sales: 18
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act aims to protect certain rivers in the United States with ecological, cultural, and recreational value. The National System currently protects over 12,734 miles of river, including 98 miles of protection for the Missouri River. Following its premier, the exhibit traveled to other nature centers and museums along the Missouri River, inspiring people to care for this intricate source of life.
“Legacy of Nebraska” | oil painting exhibit by Todd A. Williams Fontenelle Forest showcased a curated minishowing of the vast “Legacy of Nebraska” exhibit. Fontenelle Forest was the last stop of this Nebraska 150-year anniversary exhibit. The Opening Day Admissions: 71 Opening Day membership sales: 12
exhibit heralded the nostalgia and history of Nebraska. Internationally recognized artist and Nebraska native, Todd Williams’s mission was to depict significant historic, geographic, and figurative elements from each of the 93 counties. He has worked with historians, sponsors, and leaders in each county to help him determine significant subjects.
“Nebraska Phase People through the Archaeological Work of Robert F. Gilder” | archaeology exhibit How did people survive and thrive in the Forest nearly 1,000 years ago? This is a first-of-its kind exhibit set to answer that question through artifacts unearthed at Fontenelle Forest nearly 100 year ago, unseen by the public until now. Local archaeologist and artist Robert F. Gilder Opening day and lecture series: Admissions: 1,460 Membership sales: 103
conducted digs on what is now Fontenelle Forest property, discovering artworks, tools, and homes. With support from Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, we were able to host seven expert lectures on subjects like “The Daily Life of the Nebraska Phase People,” “Symbology, Artwork, and Creation in the Lakota Tradition” and “The Archaeological Work and Legacy of Robert Gilder”.
We can engage children who may not have access to nature t Fontenelle Forest we want to inspire current and future generations to care for the natural world. Some have argued that it’s impossible to care for something that you don’t know or understand. This is why we take environmental education, interpretation, and immersive experiences in nature seriously. Amanda Johnson & Taylar E. Mason, graduate students at the University of Nebraska – Omaha in Social Welfare Planning, recently partnered with Fontenelle Forest to provide research that more clearly defines the realities of nature deficit on children and adults. NATURE DEFICITS Research into the human disconnection from nature is not new. In 1984, E. O. Wilson introduced the biophilia hypothesis, which states that all people possess “the [biological] urge
FONTENELLE FOREST EDUCATION FACT Every 4th and 6th grade student in OPS is required to participate in Webology and H2Omaha programs Every student, 2nd-6th grade at Western Hills Elementary School experiences a our environmental education field trip or classroom program three times each year Every elementary student in Bellevue Public Schools participates in a Fontenelle Forest program every year
Children in cities have little or no access to nature and cannot explore outdoors, resulting in the majority of their formative years being spent inside.
“Biophilic Design Applications: Putting Theory and Patterns into Built Environment Practice” by Paul Downton
to affiliate with other forms of live.” This hypothesis also discussed the ramifications this nature disconnect has on people in various facets of their lives. According to a 2008 Children and Nature Network study, only 31% percent of children actively engage with the outdoors daily compared to 70% of their parents. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle via a reliance on electronic forms of entertainment has taken its toll in unforeseen ways. Technology has changed the world. It has become integral to everyday life and has positive and negative implications, especially for children whose brains are not fully developed. Some well-developed, age-appropriate applications and programs can be very beneficial assisting a child in learning new information and developing new skills according to 2009 research about young children and educational digital games. Technology is not evil even in the context of use in childhood, but when it is used to replace time spent in nature there are real consequences to the physical health, behavior, and emotional well-being of youth.
Leaflet Highlight - Education From the Summer 2018 issue
2018 Education by the numbers:
(The Outdoor Foundation, 2017) Unfortunately, many people don’t have regular opportunities to experience nature, based on where they live. “Children in cities have little or no access to nature and cannot explore outdoors, resulting in the majority of their formative years being spent inside,” according to a 2017 research paper on designing classrooms with a Biophilic design. Today, there is a clear divide in which people have access to nature based on age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and level of education, according to the Outdoor Foundation (graph above). NATURE EXPOSURE FOR THE COMMUNITY At Fontenelle Forest we have been increasing educational partnerships and programs that expose people of all ages to nature. With the support of generous donors in the community, Fontenelle Forest raised over $10,000 this year to provide scholarships for community youth to attend summer camp. This year our partners in providing the rich experience of nature camp are Completely KIDS, which serves families in South Omaha, and the NorthStar Foundation, serving boys and young men in North Omaha.
Families living in poverty and youth growing up in inner-cities are subject to a high level of stressors that are typically persistent in character. Through new partnerships people of all ages are able to experience and enjoy Fontenelle Forest’s educational programs in an environment that promotes increased academic outcomes. Research demonstrates that education and recreation in the natural world has measurable positive impacts on cognitive abilities as well as behavioral, physical, and mental health (according to 2013 research from the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. Whether the experience is provided through summer camps, the Acorn Acres outdoor nature classroom, ecotherapy like outdoor yoga and forest bathing, or Mud Pies, our infant to preschool program– all available to our broad community at Fontenelle Forest– learning, playing, and recreating in nature is good for your mind, body, and soul.
By Merica Whitehall, Executive Director For the complete article and sources, please see the original story in the Leaflet at fontenelleforest.org
32,000 attendees of educational programs 17,000 students visited the Forest 1,900 children participated in summer camp 5,500 seniors had Forest education brought to them 5,000 served in early childhood programs 2018 Education highlights: Partnered with Completely KIDS and the NorthStar Foundation to provide summer camp scholarships.
2018 CONSERVATION BY THE NUMBERS: 437 Acres burned 43 acres of selective thinning 18.7 acres of contractor forestry mowing 65 acres treated for invasive species Seeds collected over 20 acres 2018 Conservation highlights: A Montana-based firm was hired to complete a comprehensive assessment of all trails. The Trails Master Plan includes improvements to increase accessibility and safety, and designate trails for on-leash dogs and trail runners. Trail repairs are currently underway.
When the Forest has the flu
BEHIND IMAGE Autumn Olive, an invasive species at Neale Woods.
Can a forest get the flu? This past winter was categorized as a “severe flu season,” based on the number of reported cases (Nebraska Health and Human Services 2017-2018 Surveillance Report). As we know, the human body functions as a whole system, all the parts operate to stay alive and healthy. Once the body’s immune system is compromised, diseases can infect the body. Symptoms such as a runny nose, high fever, or sneezing are indicators that the body is becoming ill.
Invasive species are just one indicator that our Forest’s immune system is compromised. Invasive species in our Forest: • • • •
As ecologists, we also think about biological systems (the Forest) as a large organism that operates similarly to the human body. If our Forest’s immune system is impaired, because of lack of fire or lack of management, symptoms arise like invasion by non-native species, erosion, and declining plant diversity.
• • •
Displace our native plants and animals and decrease quality of understory plant community Decrease our ability to conduct controlled burns which help the forests and woodlands Degrade our wetlands, streams, and marshes like the silver carp in our Wetlands Decrease our land values and costs Fontenelle Forest time and money Cause soil erosion Have a negative impact on tourism and enjoyment of hikers Reduce revenues for nature centers that own natural areas
Leaflet Highlight - Conservation From the Winter 2018 issue
After Signs of Restoration in the Forest ABOVE Before thinning and opening up the canopy along the third loop of the boardwalk, you could hardly see a view of the Missouri River.
For more information on the impacts, you can visit the US Fish and Wildlife Invasive Species website. As you can see, invasive species aren’t the actual problem but symptoms of a larger, underlying illness. So how do we treat the cause of our illness instead of reacting to symptoms? Should we give the Forest a flu shot? Restoration ecologists use management treatments such as controlled burning, grazing, and other disturbances that the entire ecosystem evolved with over the millennia. Our native oak trees “grew up” with fire, grazing and flooding events and over time, have become adapted to these extremes. During and after European settlement of this region, fire,
LEFT After thinning around the Constitution Tree, you can see how many other oak trees are now visible.
grazing and flooding were eliminated and thus began the onset of the “flu” for our Forests. Without management, the symptoms of illness became worse and worse. Small efforts to treat the symptoms were implemented, but the underlying illness was never addressed on an ecosystem-wide basis. Until now. With a multi-faceted management approach that includes controlled burning, thinning (opening the forest canopy to allow sunlight to reach the forest floor), and treating invasive species, we can begin to reverse the trend of declining forest health. By giving our native flowers, grasses, and oaks a fighting chance at reaching full health, we can eventually restore our healthy Forest’s immune system.
Leaflet Highlight - Raptors From the Spring 2018 issue
Rehabilitation - Not just ‘For the Birds’ T
here has always been one particular thing bothering me since the moment I knew that I would be medically retiring from the Air Force. I have a LOT of downtime, and I knew that I would end up receiving a VA disability compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is hard for me to accept because I still don’t feel “disabled”.
I don’t feel like I should receive any compensation for not actively producing a product. Sure, I continue to actively work toward bettering my mental health by taking classes, going to groups, taking medication, and seeing my therapists, but I don’t feel like I deserve any money. CHARLOTTE One day, I was out at Fontenelle Forest and decided to visit the Raptor Woodland Refuge. It is a small area that houses injured birds of prey that were never able to recover enough for release back into the wild. I visited
this area about a half dozen times before and didn’t think anything different this time. On this day, there was a docent teaching people about each bird and giving facts about all the types of raptors in the area. While I was looking at my favorite of the birds there, Charlotte, a peregrine falcon, the docent came up and started to tell me about her disabilities and her history. Charlotte used to belong to a group of birds that lived atop the Woodmen Tower in Omaha. She was found injured multiple times, brought to the raptor recovery center, where she would mend from her injuries, and be released back near where she was found. As it turned out, Charlotte suffers from some neurological damage and is mostly blind. She couldn’t even see me from the 5-foot distance where I stood. The cool thing about Charlotte, though, is that she still contributes in her own way. She may not be able to live safely in the wild and be a part of our broad ecosystem, but by living where she does, she provides awareness and education to the local human population. Immediately I thought about volunteering at the Forest. I asked the docent if there were any volunteer
VOLUNTEER RAPTOR TRANSPORTER PROGRAM Transport Volunteers live in 50 cities in Nebraska and Western Iowa: Alliance Ashland Auburn Aurora Bayard Bellevue Bennett Brule Central City Chadron Columbus Council Bluffs Clay Center
Crab Orchard Curtis Dalton Dannenbrog Denton Elkhorn Elmwood Farwell Firth Fremont Gering Grand Island Hastings
Kearney Lincoln Malcolm Minature Missouri ...Valley IA Mitchell Nebraska City Norfolk North Platte Omaha Pacific ...Junction IA
Plattsmouth Papillion Ponca Raymond Rosalie Salem Scottsbluff Sidney Seward Silver Creek Tecumseh Silver Creek Valentine York
597 birds of prey rescued in Nebraska so far in 2018 by 130 volunteer transporters. More than 20,000 people experienced public raptor programs and more than 1,000 saw a release.
when I learned exactly how closely I would be working with the raptors. They informed me that in the loosely closed box behind me was a Red-Tailed Hawk. It was recently injured and we were transporting it to go into rehabilitation. Wow! A Red-Tailed Hawk less than a foot behind me! Now that’s cool! opportunities available and he pointed me in the right direction. THE WEDNESDAY CREW After weeks of talking about it with my wife, we decided it would be a good opportunity for me to both give back and see some parallels between the birds’ situation and my own. The benefits from volunteering while I continued treatment for PTSD would greatly outweigh any additional money that I could bring in from working full-time. With her working, we were in a situation that allowed for me to take time to focus on my recovery. One day, after leaving the VA, I decided that would be the day that I would turn in a volunteer application. It was a week later that I received an email from the volunteer coordinator for the Forest’s Raptor Recovery Program. She told me about a group that she takes out every Wednesday morning to the location where the injured birds go through their recovery. We would be there doing chores, which would allow the hired personnel more time to be able to focus on the birds. On the drive to the recovery center, I started striking up conversations with different people. Some wanted to know about my experiences in the military. Some just wanted to know about me and my family. Each of them, though, was happy to be there that morning. That thought still stands out. At one point on the drive, I kept hearing a noise behind me. I was in the back seat and only had boxes behind me, so I didn’t know what could be making that noise. This is
I met the lady in charge, Betsy Finch, who sees more than 600 injured birds a year and has done so for about 40 years. Talk about somebody with a wealth of experience and knowledge! She accepted me right away and I started going to work. I NEVER THOUGHT I’D ENJOY SCRAPING POOP THAT MUCH The first day I worked I wiped down plastic cages that were covered in bird poop and scrubbed rugs that were covered in, oh so much more, bird poop. All of the volunteers were happy and talkative. None of them complained about what they were doing. They legitimately enjoyed each other’s company and being able to help. That stood out to me. At the end of the day, they all asked what I thought of it and the only thing that came to mind was, “I never thought I’d enjoy scraping up bird poop that much.” I meant it. I genuinely enjoyed being there. All in all, I am so glad that my wife talked me into doing the types of things that I’m doing. I have so much motivation and energy after working with those people, and I haven’t once felt like I didn’t belong there. - Jeremiah David Jones, volunteer and veteran Follow more of Jeremiah’s story at www.myrecovery27.blog Read the Omaha World-Herald front-page story about Jeremiah at omaha.com
2018 RAPTORS BY THE NUMBERS: 2,850 Raptors Rescued since 2013 *totaling 13,000+ since 1976
45% Success rate for recovery/release 2018 Raptor highlights: The Raptor Woodland Refuge was completed with the addition of the Louis F. “Chip” Davis Bald Eagle mew. The local media supported our efforts to convince hunters and anglers to switch to nontoxic alternatives, with two investigative stories. $429,038 raised in designated donations for raptors
Thank you to our donors $50,000+
Anonymous Anonymous Chip Davis Gerry & Bruce Gerry Lauritzen Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation
$25,000 - $49,999
Anonymous Mogens Bay Claire M Hubbard Foundation Marilyn & Carl Mammel Ann Pape Peter Kiewit Foundation Walter Scott, Jr. Sherwood Foundation
$10,000 - $24,999
Shawn Bengtson First National Bank of Omaha Gifford Family Foundation Jeffry H. Green Susan & George Haddix Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Omaha Public Schools Foundation Debra & Neal S. Ratzlaff Dr. John & Ruth Sage Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation Union Pacific Foundation Weitz Family Foundation
$5,000 - $9,999
BNSF Railway Foundation Calvin L. Hinz Architects, P.C. Ann & Dennis Christiansen Fraser Stryker PC LLO Tina & Steve Gottschalk Sidonie Haines Herbert and Marion Weston Foundation Holland Foundation Humanities Nebraska Iowa West Foundation Allan E. Johnson Meggie & Chris Kean Herbert Lavigne Deborah A. Levy Lozier Foundation Nancy & Michael McCarthy Methodist Health System Midlands Community Foundation Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company OrthoNebraska Hospital Pheasants Forever Douglas County West Chapter
Barbara Marie Rivers Tenaska, Inc. Philanthropy Fund The Wonder Nook Valmont Industries, Inc. Wells Fargo Foundation
$2,500 - $4,999
Kathy & Rick Berkshire Elizabeth & Charles Boone Betsy & Doug Finch Maureen & Paul Halbur Beth & Jon Hansen Catherine & Alex Harrington Nancy & Daniel Hinnah Stephanie & John Koraleski Melanie & David Ortleb Susan Ames & Todd Rivers Thomas D. Stalnaker Ann & Ken Stinson Nancy & John W. Webster
$200 - $2,499
Andra & Steve Alvine Mary A. & Clyde Anderson Leigh Andres Anonymous Doug Armstrong Tara & Ryan Arnold Angela & Jeff Athy Elaine Bachel Lynne & Jack Baldwin Baltoro Trust Evelyn Baran Dana & Josh Bartee Kelly P. & Todd Bartusek Beardmore Cheverolet, Inc. Sally Bekins Bellevue Public Library Foundation Berkshire & Burmeister Attorneys at Law Janene & Daniel Bolt Kandie Borchman Alexis & Matt Boulos Barbara Braden J. Louise & Chester Bressman Teressa & Shane Brookshire Linda R. Brown Karla & Kenny Buck Lawrence Burman Kathy & John Burr Calek-Polikov Foundation Fund Sarah & Matthew Caswell Andrea & Dhruba Chakravarti Mary Lou Chapek-Hogg Irene & Willis Chesnut CHI Health Childrenâ€™s Hospital and Medical Center
Cobalt Credit Union (Formerly SAC) Cornhusker Motor Club Foundation Council Bluffs Public Library Creighton University - Office of the President Carol J. Curry Claudia & Tony Deeb Brittany & Austin Deupree Katy DiPrima Jenny & Brian Doyle Erickson | Sederstrom, PC FF Bird Club Laurie Lambert & Curt Field Fontenelle Forest Guild Marlen Frost Elizabeth & John Fullerton Marsha V. Gallagher Marjorie & Gary W. Garabrandt Birte Gerlings Brady & Ryan Gibson Megan & Michael Gilligan Abe Glaser Jeanne Neuman Glasford & Curt Glasford Cindy & Bruce Goldberg Wendy & David Goldberg Pat & Jim Gottschalk Green Bellevue Andrea & Rao Gutta Amy Haase Rosie Zweiback & Mace Hack Lindsay Lundholm & Christopher Halbkat Dawn & Jim Hammel Rhonda & Bryan Handlos Sarah & Brian Harr Vicki Harrington Barb Harris Suzanne Robert Hasiak Mary & Jim Hawkins Doug Hegarty Cindy & Scott Heider Amy & Jeff Henderson Kareen & Tim Hickman Laurie & Calvin Hinz Meghan Hope Ann & Aron Huddleston Matthew & Andrew Huettner Kathleen Hughes Tricia & Jeff Hultgren Mary Beth & Daniel Hutcheson Kirk Hutton Hyatt Hotel Reservation Center Ike and Roz Friedman Foundation Insperity Mary Liz & Leland Jameson Brett Jaros Megan Jarosz JE Dunn Construction Company
Kelly & Jason Jeffreys Dawn & Rusty Jensen Jewish Federation of Omaha Donna & Matt Johnson Gail & Phil Jones Kari & Jeffrey R. Jorth Carol & Robert Julian Amy & John Kampfe Michelle & Chris Kankousky Sally & Gary Kaplan Gloria & Howard J. Kaslow Ann Kelsall Kiewit Companies Foundation James Kineen Megan A. & Daniel King Andrea & Corey Kinnan Bette & Clem Klaphake Ashlee & Harry D. Koch Sarah Kocher Koley Jessen P.C. Nicole & Nicholas Konen Anne & Jerry Kotlik Cydney C. & David Koukol Michael M. Krivokucha Christina L. Lafever Ruth & Richard Laughlin Lawrence R. & Jeannette James Foundation Rose Leavitt Mary & Tad Leeper Julie & David Leppek Patricia & Edmund Leslie Brock Lewis Kaai Li Deana & Mike Liddy Lincoln Parks and Recreation Lincoln Track Club Mary & Rodrigo Lopez Cheryl & Les Lowrey Joyce & Ron Luster Lutz & Company Christine Mahoney Nancy & Jim Malkowski Kelly & James Mann Andrea & Scott Marble Andrea Marshall Maser Family Foundation Catherine Demes-Maydew & Marcus Maydew Janet J. McCrae MedExpress Methodist Hospital Sherese & Chris Morrow Rozanne & Duncan Murphy Kathleen C. Murphy National Wild Turkey Federation Alison & Keith Navatil
Terry & Tom Newby Sarah & Marc Newman Betsy Newman NP Dodge Company Meghan & Tom Oakes Erin & William Oâ€™Brien Offutt Air force Base Omaha Public Library - Main Branch Omaha Public Power District Omaha Steaks Patricia Catering Paul J Strawhecker, Inc. Perrigo Company Foundation Jennifer & Chris Pesek Adrienne & Joe Petsick Sandra & Richard Pfeifer Sally Otis & Brad Pittack Planet Sub Lynn & Dennis Poly Yvonne & Richard Pouchert Mary Ann Krzemien & Don Preister RDG Planning & Design Louise & Ronald V. Ream Brittni & Chad Redding Mindell Rethwisch Laura Marlane & Paul Richards Anne & Steve Rogers Jennifer & Joshua Rogers Russ and Lisa Rupiper Family Fund Carol & Rick Russell Megan & Ryan Sallans Molly & Matt Scanlan barb & Ron Schaefer Lisa & Levi Scheppers Heather & Bryan Schneider Molly & Tobin Schropp Schwab Charitable Seim Johnson, LLP Lindsey & Scott Semrad Ana Lopez Shalla & Hassan Shalla James Shaw Kathy & Jim Simpson Lynne MacDonald & Christine Smith William Schaefer & Tom L. Smith Leonard Sommer Debbie & John Stalnaker Bruce Stephens Kristen & Andrew Stickman Ellen & Carl Stonerook Barbara & Chris Stratman Streck Susan Strohn Holly Nielson & Kyle Styskal Robert Benzel & J. G. Sullivan Ryan Swartz Sharon Kratochvil & Trina Switzer
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