Celebrating Preserve Volunteers and Donors!

April is National Volunteer Month! Although we appreciate those who volunteer for the Lakeshore Nature Preserve all year, we celebrate them each spring in this newsletter. In 2023, 530 volunteers gave 2,176 hours of their time and effort to the Preserve. Seventy-two percent of our volunteers are UW students, faculty, and staff.

We can’t forget our Preserve donors! Private gifts provide the funds needed for ecological restoration efforts, student interns, and volunteer programming. In 2023, donors gave 200 gifts totaling $181,350. Of that, $52,041 was designated by donors for specific Preserve-approved projects, leaving $129,310 available for Preserve restoration and programs.

Volunteers and Donors by the Numbers...
530 volunteers; 72% UW students, faculty, staff; 2,176 service hours; 54 groups; 200 gifts; $181,350 in gifts

The Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, a volunteer-run organization that has supported the Preserve since 2001, organizes a series of excellent field trips on various topics. In 2023, Friends field trip volunteers introduced over 560 participants to the Preserve. In addition, thanks to Friends President Will Vuyk, the Preserve 530 Audio Trail now features original poetry recorded from “It’s in Our Nature” open mic events. Look for signs placed throughout the Preserve and use your phone to hear nine different writers read their work, or listen online.

Friends volunteers coordinate several citizen science projects, including a Bluebird Trail, a Purple Martin house, and Lake Mendota water quality monitoring with the Clean Lakes Alliance. In 2023, the Friends contributed financially to the Preserve for the Prairie Partners internship program ($7,177), a matching gift for the Day of the Badger ($4,000), and the purchase of plants for an annual Friends planting day ($1,200).

To experience the Preserve through volunteering, visit our events calendar for volunteer event dates.

If you want to financially support the Preserve, gifts can be made through the University of Wisconsin Foundation at supportuw.org/giveto/lakeshore