Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

We brought 'em back

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  • ##Lindsay (left) | Educator

    ”My appreciation for nature sprouted at deer camp and on fishing trips when I was young. My passion for the outdoors fuels my enthusiasm to educate others and spread awareness about conserving our wild things. The first time I saw a bald eagle, perched high in a pine tree during a fishing outing, took my breath away. It is an honor to work with these majestic birds at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and generate a sense of respect and awe for them in those we teach.

    Diane (right) | Educator

    Diane's upbringing out West on the Platte River and summer vacations to national parks led to a career as a natural resources educator, and later the Raptor Program Manager for Schlitz Audubon. She has been training eagles and educating people about them for over 20 years. The Schlitz raptor collection of 16 live birds includes hawks, owls, falcons, eagles and a vulture. The raptor team presents 425 program annually, reaching over 100,000 people per year.

    "These feathered ambassadors are so awesome, powerful and exciting for people to see close up...and for us as educators, they offer a great opportunity. We can talk to children about things that can be done right in the natural world. Our majestic bald eagles were on the brink of extinction. Humans discovered it was our fault, we did something to fix the problem, and we succeeded! That is a very powerful lesson to be able to share with children and adults alike."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Jamie | Triathlete

    "I've always had a unique connection to nature because of fitness. I grew up running through the woods during cross country races and now I swim, bike and run in and out of nature nearly every day. As long as we continue to cherish it, nature will always be my gym in life."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Cary | Service Member

    "My best memories of my life are spending time with my father and grandfather while hunting and fishing. It’s our responsibility to ensure we can do the same with our children and grandchildren. Nongame species help support the entire ecosystem of flora and fauna that directly and indirectly benefit game species and animals enthusiasts."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Lainet | Outdoor Educator

    "Being in nature makes me feel happy, calm and relaxed. It enhances my curiosity for learning more about living beings and their interactions. I really enjoy working in the outdoors because I am always discovering new plants, animals, colors and smells, and all of that encourages me to do more for nature and connect more deeply every time I go outside."

    "At the Urban Ecology Center, we want to help people have this kind of experience and help them connect deeply to nature too. We take people outside and let them explore for themselves, discover for themselves. These experiences teach them to value and respect what they have in their surroundings, thus they will be more interested in preserving natural areas, and in getting involved and helping with conservation efforts."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Dick and Kim | Farmers

    “In 1967, when I was 15 years old, my dad purchased this old hill farm and he put my four siblings and me to work. It wasn't a business, but a place where we tended cattle and made hay as a family; through this work we started to learn what it means to take care of the land. A year later at Christmas, dad gave me a copy of the Sand County Almanac; I read the entire book before school started again in January. The idea of a land ethic was important to my father, and it began to take on meaning to me. Leopold's notion of conservation--when people and land do well together by virtue of their partnership--became a motivating force in my life."

    "It has been an honor and a privilege to steward the resources of our farm in a way to protect and improve them and at the same time make a living for our family. I look at this land as a gift; it will take care of us through the ages if we listen and work with all it can teach us.”

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Karen | Adventurer

    Whether riding her beloved 1965 Schwinn Breeze around town in Madison or pedaling across the country with her husband from Seattle, WA to Bar Harbor, Maine on her touring bike, bicycling and other outdoor activities are part of Karne's DNA.

    "I am a parent of three grown childeren and enjoying outdoor activities always has been a hallmark of our family life. If you ask our kids what we did throughout the seasons, they would tell you it always was something outdoors...camping, canoeing, cross country skiing, ice skating or exploring new territory near and far."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Preston | Changemaker

    "At an early age I was imprinted with the value of spending time outdoors. In Wisconsin, this is significant to the connections we need make with nature. The social, psychological and health benefits of spending time in nature are critical for kids that live in Wisconsin, our children will go on to be thought leaders in their communities. I accept the role of providing more outdoor opportunities for all of Wisconsin’s children to participate in nature based activities."

    "As the Chair of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, I will always advocate for more resources for outdoor educational programs. I’m excited about the promise of nature we are making to our children. Go out and enjoy all Wisconsin has to offer!"

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Jeanne | Mom & Soccer Coach

    "I prefer being outdoors and happily my children like being outside too. We camp, ski, ride horses and hike when there is a sufficient attraction at the end, like a waterfall."

    "Coaching soccer is a great way to spend outdoor time with kids. Each player needs different motivation and it is fun to figure out what that is. I love seeing how happy they are when they score a goal. One game, every player on the team scored a goal--I consider that the perfect soccer game."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Mary Kay | Artist

    "I am an artist/activist, psychotherapist and flower gardener who discovered the sunflower paintings of Vincent Van Gogh as a young woman. His vivid oil paintings of the natural world were the standard that I used to model my vision of nature through painting color saturated, expressionist watercolor. My heart aches for the disappearing bats, bees and butterflies that pollinate our plants and trees. In my joint travelling exhibition with Helen Klebesadel, ‘The Flowers Are Burning,’ we ask our audience to notice what they love that may need protection, and to be active in making positive changes to protect a more beautiful world our hearts know is possible."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Jeanette | Volunteer

    Jeanette and other volunteers from the Friends of Festge Park have worked to restore the diversity of the prairies, woodlands, streams and wetlands at Festge Park and Salmo Pond near Cross Plains.

    "Prairie restoration has become my passion. It takes much physical effort to restore, plant and maintain prairies yet when you see a rare plant brightly blooming, listen to the birds sing, see the eagle flying overhead, hear the hum of the bees, notice the monarch and other butterflies flitting from plant to plant...it is truly an experience of joy for me."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##A.J. | Construction Worker

    "Fishing and hunting is what I was taught as a young man. My father taught me to both love and respect nature not only for the hunting and fishing aspects but for the beauty and escape from the everyday grind."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Riley (left) | College Student

    "I have always loved being near lakes. Both my parents have lived on lakes for as long as I can remember. I currently go to college on Lake Superior and would love to live near an ocean someday."

    Jack (right) | College Student

    "I have always been connected to nature but most recently I have been using this connection as an escape from the stressful world of being a college student."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Joshua | Hiker

    Wisconsin born and bred, Josh learned from an early age that our great state’s landscape consisted of forests and fields with many lakes scattered here and there. But he discovered that it was so much more after receiving a graduation gift of a camera and stumbling upon Natural Bridge State Natural Area.

    He’s now embarked on a quest to visit all 673 State Natural Areas, exceptional examples of native landscapes, important geological formations and archaeological sites. "I like being out in nature, I love taking pictures and I love exploring. I think it would be difficult to get tired of all of those things."

    "I feel a strong connection to the Wisconsin outdoors each time I am hiking through a forest, prairie, savanna or bog. In particular, I look forward to each opportunity to experience a State Natural Area, as such places protect the best examples of Wisconsin’s natural communities and landscapes."

    Photo by Michael Kienitz.
  • ##Learn how to order the eagle plate here.

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Last Revised: Monday September 21 2015

© Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources