National Wildlife Refuge System

Take Pride Award

Google Earth view of Midway Atoll NWR

Boy Scout volunteers at St. Croix Wetland Management District, WI

Credit: Tina Shaw/USFWS

Friends of the St. Croix Wetland Management District, WI, has been honored with the 2012 Take Pride National Volunteer Award for nonprofit organizations. 

This Friends group is committed to raising awareness of the St. Croix Wetland Management District and engaging the public in resource conservation through volunteerism.  The Friends has a long list of projects and accomplishments, ultimately offering 468 local community members opportunities to volunteer for 4,807 hours on federal lands:

  • The Prairie Plug Partnership introduced more than 100 local high school and middle school students to the importance of native prairie flowers and grasses as wildlife habitat. Students germinated more than 4,000 prairie plugs. Seeds from the plugs will be used to restore native prairie for years to come.

Friends and Neighbors Night Out introduced the surrounding community to local ecology and resource management – “an excellent opportunity to build relationships in the local community,” said refuge manager Thomas Kerr. Photos

  • Conservation Day brought 400 volunteer Boy Scouts, parents, educators and partners to the St. Croix WMD and surrounding Waterfowl Production Areas. Scouts helped remove invasive species in an oak savanna restoration site.

Friends produced a 29-page full color birding guide to the WMD’s auto tour route. According to wildlife biologist Chris Trosen, "This guide was a great example of local partners pulling together to promote the importance of these public lands for many species of non-game birds."

The national Take Pride awards will be presented during ceremonies in Washington, D.C. in October.

The St. Croix Wetland Management District is located in eight counties in west central Wisconsin. The district was established in 1992 with the goal of providing wetland and grassland habitat for breeding waterfowl. The district works in partnership with many landowners, agencies and conservation organizations to restore and protect prairie, wetlands and oak savanna. This work includes habitat restoration and the promotion of programs to improve water quality in the St. Croix River Watershed.

Last updated: August 10, 2012