Ripples 1-22-15

It’s good to have friends.  Woodland Dunes is blessed to have the support of people in our area who care about nature as it relates to the quality of their lives and our communities, and who want to protect places that wild things can call home.  In some cases, our friends include those who once lived in Wisconsin but have moved to other places.  But I think if you’re raised here and grow up appreciating what we have, a bit of Wisconsin always stays with you.
Many people have made Woodland Dunes possible through their generosity.   During a time when we acquired a number of parcels of land for the preserve, the West Foundation helped tremendously, as it continues to do for so many worthwhile projects in our area.  Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund has also assisted with that effort.
And there were many others.  More than 20 years ago we were able to build an addition to the old farmhouse that serves as our nature center thanks to a generous bequest from Edna Smith, giving us a nice gathering space, a kitchen, and, most importantly, indoor plumbing.  A few years ago we were able to build our observation tower thanks to a generous contribution in memory of Harold Alyea by his family, many of whom are from Wisconsin but now live in other states.
Window TapeThis winter, members of the Alyea family and others are again helping us improve our facilities through the building of a bird observatory, an addition to our Edna Smith room.  Although we have many birds that visit feeders here, it was difficult to see them through existing windows.  Now, we have a much larger and more comfortable viewing area looking out at the feeders which are right now constantly visited by chickadees, juncos, tree sparrows, and others including the occasional northern shrike looking to make a meal of the others.  The area also looks over the Little Wings nature play area, offering a view of a different kind of wildlife!
The bird observatory room was constructed in memory of Esther Johnson and Jean Olson by Green Construction, and is now open as part of our display area.  To discourage birds from striking the glass, ultraviolet-reflective tape, purchased from the American Bird Conservancy, will be installed.  In spring, the area around the feeders will be planted with additional native shrubs to provide more food and cover for birds, and we look forward to the spring migration which brings back so many interesting species.  When that happens, we’ll have some special birdwatching programs, and in the meantime the public is invited to stop in, relax, and enjoy the interesting wildlife right outside our door.

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