Dear Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge,
As 2021 comes to a close, I want to share with you some of our accomplishments for the year. Covid played a big part in our plans. We were unable to gather together for meetings or inside nature programs.
The Flyway Nature Store operated one afternoon a week to coincide with the Visitors Center hours.
A bench dedicated to Professor Mike Noonan was purchased, assembled by volunteers, and placed on Swallow Hollow Trail.
The Alabama Hotel generously offered wall space in their restaurant for us to place a publicity panel highlighting the refuge and activities that can be done there. The panels have been designed and made, and are in the process of being framed for hanging. Hopefully early in 2022 they will be installed. The panel will be located in the waiting room.
2021 saw an increase in FINWR Memberships and Sponsorships. We hope to continue that trend by actively seeking new members and sponsors. If you are a business owner, or know of one who would be interested in supporting our mission, please contact me.
As we look ahead to 2022, we are making some organizational changes that will help us be more effective. We have implemented Coordinator positions to address our needs for Events, Projects, Programs, Volunteers, Trail Maintenance, Fundraising, Technology, and last but not least, Education. Each of these Coordinator positions has been filled. The purpose of this system is to encourage leadership and involvement by more people.
Communications and Outreach Coordinators are still needed. Please let me know if you are interested, or if you know someone who might be.
The Board unanimously approved two exciting projects. One is the creation of a Pollinator Meadow. The focus of this project will be to encourage native plants and growth, while reducing the amount of lawn area that needs to be mowed.
The second project is the completion of the trail behind the Headquarters building.
This includes assessing what is there now and what it still needs. We are approaching this with an eye towards Handicap Accessibility. So signage and benches will be included.
Due to a reduced interest in a newsletter, it was decided to discontinue it for now. If interest rebounds we will start it up again.
We are looking forward to attending outreach events in 2022, such as Plantasia, local farmer’s markets, and other similar local activities where we can promote the refuge, promote FINWR, and generate money to put towards refuge projects by selling items from the Flyway Nature store. FINWR will be taking over management of Iroquois Observations and Spring into Nature as well, this year to aid with reduced staffing at the refuge. Volunteer opportunities will be numerous. Your support is important to help keep these programs going. If you are interested in being more involved, please contact me.
I’m hoping you will continue to support the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, whether financially through Membership and Sponsorship, or donating your time to volunteer.
Here’s to a better year ahead!
President of the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Inc.