About Us

Friends of Iroquois NWR Mission

Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. (FINWR) is a not-for-profit corporation organized by volunteers dedicated to supporting the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (INWR) and educating the public about the plants and animals found in this partially forested wetland environment.

Our Goals
  • To increase awareness of the refuge and its mission
  • To generate and then allocate funds to support the refuge
  • To support the refuge programs and projects
  • To advocate for the refuge locally, statewide, and nationally.

2020 Board of Directors Officers

  • Celeste Morien (President)
  • Ann Fourtner (Vice Pres.)
  • Steve Bunch (Treasurer)
  • Jocelyn Welton (Secretary)
2020 Board of Directors Members
Dawn Borchert
Ann Bunch
Mike Galas
Karin Johnson
Chris Kieber
Bill Lathrop
Garner Light
Sandra Mendel
John Michalovic
David O’Donnell
Dorothy Rapp
Gerry Rising
George Rockey
Lauren Tingco
Carl Zenger

Projects completed or initiated by Friends of Iroquois NWR:
Aging purple martin nestlings during the banding process.
Aging purple martin nestlings during the banding process.
  • Provided camera equipment so that the public and staff can view live kestrels, bluebirds, tree swallows, purple martins during the breeding and nesting season with no disturbance to the birds.
  • Donated $25,000 to assist INWR with an educational trailer which is being used for outreach.
  • Partnership funding with the National Fish &Wildlife Foundation for a new Handicap Fishing Dock.
  • Swallow Hollow Nature Trail completed and dedicated. FINWR provided partnerships, financing, planning and volunteer hours to complete this $500,000 project, which is now used for pleasure and educational programs. There is now a Guide-by-Cell opportunity along this trail!
  • Provided benches, interpretive signs and rehabilitation for Kanyoo Trail so that visitors can view wildlife and nature. Partnered with the Boy Scouts, Iroquois Job Corps, and HSBC for this project.
  • FINWR continues to support the new Headquarters Trail available near the Visitor Center.
  • Water control structure purchased and installed on Cayuga sub-impoundment to enhance shore bird habitat and wildlife viewing and supported Ducks Unlimited with the Seneca Pool Restoration.
  • Supported the Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation program which over 10 years introduced 18,803 school children and adults to the N.W. Refuge System, giving them an understanding of nature, biodiversity and conservation. Canisius students are assisting in updating the Guide-by-Cell project.
  • Funded: drilling of a well which monitors ground water levels and MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System.
  • Supporting educational opportunities for volunteers (American Kestrel Symposium, Regional Training).
  • Volunteers generally contribute several thousand hours of service each year.
  • FINWR continues to support special events such as the Youth Fishing Derby, the Spring Into Nature Open House, Iroquois Observations program, Youth Waterfowl Orientation Day, Annual Photo Contest, Purple Martin Program, Bluebird Banding, Oak Orchard Audubon Christmas Bird Count, NYS Ornithological Association Conference, roadside trash pickup, and various outreach events.
  • The Flyway Nature Store provides nature related gifts and books with profits being used to support the
    projects and mission of the refuge.
The Flyway Nature Store provides nature related gifts and books with profits being used to support the
projects and mission of the refuge.

FINWR continues to expand membership and seek donations.