Nurturing nature

DuPont awards $10,000 grant to Aldo Leopold Nature Center for restoration and education.

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Heavy rains that caused flooding throughout much of southern Wisconsin in late August and early September proved that Mother Nature sometimes is her own worst enemy.

That was apparent at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona, which wasn’t spared from the high waters. Thankfully, ALNC already had some assistance to deal with shoreline erosion and restoration projects, not to mention continue its education programs in the form of a $10,000 grant from DuPont Nutrition & Health’s “Clear Into the Future” initiative.

DuPont, a manufacturer of probiotic and food ingredients, has a facility located within a few miles of the nature center and has long held an appreciation and commitment to the environment and public access to natural areas.

DuPont started operations along the Delaware Estuary more than 200 years ago, and Clear Into the Future began as an effort to maintain that unique waterway. That commitment to the environment will continue at ALNC, where the grant will provide funding for short-term land restoration and long-term environmental education work.

ALNC is part of 97 acres of protected urban land that includes prairie, woodland, oak savanna, wetlands, and pond habitats. Restoration projects the grant will help fund include controlled burns, invasive species removal, native seed introduction, and shoreline improvement for the wetland areas. Shoreline improvement will help control erosion and limit the number of geese present by planting shrubs along the water’s edge.

DuPont Nutrition & Health chose ALNC for this grant due to “its values and commitment to teaching people about preserving and protecting our natural surroundings,” says Cara Erickson, ALNC marketing and communications manager. “Everyone loves to enjoy nature but teaching people to respect and care for nature is something that gets missed today. ALNC provides this knowledge at a young age so future generations can enjoy nature as we do today.”

According to Erickson, ALNC and DuPont Nutrition & Health have a multifaceted partnership. Since 2013, DuPont has been a generous event partner to ALNC, sponsoring free, family-friendly, educational events such as Maple Syrup Fest and Fall Fest, as well as ALNC’s largest fundraiser of the year, Pipers in the Prairie. Furthermore, DuPont Nutrition & Health employees have spent many hours volunteering on the nature center grounds, working as land stewards to restore and maintain the center’s native ecosystems with invasive species removal and trail maintenance, establishing picnic areas for summer campers, field trippers, and visitors alike to enjoy.

Granting visitors a chance to engage with the natural world is a primary focus for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Without restoration work, the quality of environmental education would be hampered. “At a time when recent rains and floods are wreaking havoc on our community and watershed, a grant like this is extremely important for us to be able to maintain the health of the native ecosystems while continuing to provide valuable, innovative, and experiential nature based programming for the children, families, and members of our community,” Erickson explains.

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.