WHO WE ARE
Photo: Becky Martin
The Aldo Leopold Audubon Society (ALAS) serves Central Wisconsin including Portage, Wood, Marathon and Waupaca counties. Our goals include environmental advocacy, conservation and habitat restoration, science-based environmental education, membership recruitment and support and outreach to the wider community, fundraising, and supporting the National Audubon mission and programs.
As a chapter of the National Audubon Society, our mission is to foster appreciation and concern for all living things, and to protect and preserve their ecosystems. The national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.
Monthly programs and field trips are free and open to the public. Programs and field trips feature conservation experts from throughout Wisconsin, examination of current environmental issues impacting Wisconsin and local communities, and tours of unique natural and cultural sites and phenomena. Monthly programs are recorded and available on YouTube.
An annual grant program provides small grants for environmental education programs and projects in Portage, Wood, Marathon and Waupaca counties.
As President of your local Audubon Chapter, Karen invites you to get involved! Become a member, join us on fieldtrips, for programs and for other volunteer opportunities. Your involvement only benefits the ALAS community!
Greetings From the President
Karen Dostal will serve as President of the Aldo Leopold Chapter of Audubon Society for two years beginning in June of 2021. Karen joined ALAS and has served as the Education Chair since 1999. Her interest in birds began in childhood when she and her mom watched a Red-Tailed hawk soaring one summer day and they found and identified the raptor in a field guide. Since then, she has had a fascination for birds and has been lucky to have traveled to many parts of the world always on the lookout for new species to discover, all the while appreciating the bird life we have in Central Wisconsin.
Environmental issues have been a concern of Karen’s for most of her life. She became an environmental educator in order to teach young people appreciation the natural world around them and ran the Boston School Forest programs for half of her career. Previous to that she taught third and fourth grades for the Stevens Point Public School District. As an environmentalist, Karen supports local organizations such as the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, The North Central Conservancy Trust, The Stevens Point Area Coop, Farmshed, The Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin and National Audubon. She and her husband, Mark live as sustainably as possible having built a super-insulated home with passive and active solar. They grow a large organic garden and do a great deal of home food preservation.
Karen maintains and monitors 24 bluebird nest boxes for BRAW, aka The Audubon Trail, is a pilot for Cycling Without Age, and is a member of the advisory group for the UWSP Museum of Natural History. She also volunteers with Raptor Services at the Linwood Springs Research Station assisting with Red-shoulder hawk and other raptor research.
ALAS thrives by having ALAS members serve on our voluntary board of directors. We believe strongly that our board should reflect our membership and its interests. We normally have 12-15 members on our board. The board meets the second Wednesday of the month (September through May) at 7:00-8:30 pm. We do not meet during the summer. There are many opportunities to serve. We try to match board members’ passions and interests. We have a fun group that operates in a congenial manner and pride ourselves on hearing what each member has to say.
Please consider joining our board. The following is a list that illustrates some board and committee positions: Board officer or director, committees for Bird-seed sale, Christmas Bird Count, Conservation, Education, Field Trips, Programs, Publicity, and monthly roles for Membership, Newsletter design, and Website updates. Please feel free to email us with questions and interest - Aldo.Leopold.Audubon@gmail.com
Image by Susan Schuller
Picture by Gerry Janz
Photo by Susan Schuller
Image by Susan Schuller
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board Meetings will be held generally on the second Wednesday of the month currently being conducted online using Zoom, 7 p.m. Please Email us if you wish to attend a meeting -- Aldo.Leopold.Audubon@gmail.com
2023/24 Dates: Sept 13, Oct 11, Nov 8, Jan 10, Feb 14, Mar 13, Apr 10, May 8
President: Karen Dostal 715-592-4706
Vice-President: Susan Schuller 715-340-4877 or email susanschuller6(at)gmail.com
Secretary: Willow 715-387-1398
Treasurer: Jan Seiler 715-344-0168
Bird Seed Sale: Steve and Midge Hall 937-608-0865
Christmas Bird Count Coordinators
Gerald Janz (Stevens Point)
Karen Dostal (Amherst) 715-592-4706
Willy Fleck (WI Rapids) 715-451-2058 (call or text)
Conservation: Ned Grossinickle-715-693-6095
Education: Bob Lane 715-824-3978
Field Trips: Brad Baun 715-347-4570
Jr. Audubon-Schmeeckle: Susan Schuller 715-340-4877
Karen Dostal 715-592-4706
Membership: Janet Smith
Newsletter: Lora Hagen
Programs: Joe Schultz 715-341-5521 & Bob Lane 715-824-3978
Publicity: Brad Branwell 715-570-9587
Web Page: Jenny Christopher- 858-583-1513
Facebook: Brad Branwell 715-570-9587
Brad Baun 715-347-4570
Rob Pendergast 715-498-4885
Susan Schuller 715-340-4877
Jan Seiler 715-344-0168
Brad Branwell 715-570-9587
John Munson 715-341-1208
Bob Freckman- 715-344-0686
Alan Haney 715-592-6949
We invite you to consider joining our ALAS team. Attend a presentation, volunteer for one of our work days, or be a behind-the-scene board member. Our annual and long range goals will be reached through your guidance and assistance. Join our team and become a member of ALAS.
Fall Family Festival at Mead Wildlife Refuge: Co-sponsored by ALAS and the Friends of the Mead/McMillan Assn., and held every September at the Mead Wildlife Area and Visitor Center (Milladore), volunteers help to facilitate youth and family crafts and educational activities held indoors and outside.
Bird Feed Sale Fundraiser: Held annually in October, volunteers work the sales table, work on the truck lifting the bags of seeds and carrying them to our customers’ cars.
Christmas Bird Count: Calling all birders to the traditional and ever-popular early winter event, the annual Christmas Bird Count held in December. ALAS coordinates both the Amherst and Stevens Point area counts. Birders meet at 7AM to join teams assigned to census wintering birds in our area. Each count is a 15 mile-diameter circle within which birders record every bird seen or heard during one 24-hour period. Teams are assigned to specific sectors to hike woods and fields, canvass city parks and rural farmyards, tramp river bottoms, and drive country roads for the greatest coverage possible. In addition to gathering important information about birds in winter, the CBC offers the fun and fellowship of a day in the field with like-minded companions.
Special Events: Watch our calendar for native seed collection or planting, invasive species removal, work days.
Field Trip Leaders: Experienced birders lead our monthly field trips to local bird areas and provide information on bird identification, field markings, natural history and conservation.
Writers: Share an article for the ALAS newsletter about your favorite place to go bird-watching, your favorite bird, or local environmental issue.
ALAS $ At WORK
The money we raise through our programming and membership fees helps to fund projects to build up our community atmosphere.
Erickson Natural Area, located on McDill Pond adjacent to Koziczkowski Park in Stevens Point
Friday Wievel Memorial Scholarship awards $500 scholarships to two students studying at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point each year
WORK WE DO
Your local Audubon Society is providing grants of up to $300! The grants are available to be used for environmental education programs and restoration projects in the Central Wisconsin Region including Portage, Wood, Marathon and Waupaca counties.
Grant proposals will be evaluated by the ALAS Board of directors. All grants submitted will be considered based on the merit of the proposal. Grants will be considered throughout our fiscal year. As funds are limited however, proposals will be considered on a first come, first served basis.
Please send a 1-2 page letter describing your project or program. Explain how the goals of your project address Audubon’s mission and focus. Identify your audience and the approximate number of people your project will get impact. Projects will need to be completed within a year’s time. Include a date for when funds will be needed and a budget.
Each awarded grantee will be required to submit a final project summary report to ALAS approximately one year after the grant is awarded in order to be considered for future grants. Please include at least 2 photos that document your project.
Grant requests can be sent to:
Aldo Leopold Audubon Society
P.O. Box 928
Stevens Point, WI 54481
or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Erickson Natural Area
Erickson Natural Area
Erickson Natural Area
Erickson Natural Area
Erickson Natural Area
The Erickson Natural Area is located on McDill Pond adjacent to Koziczkowski Park. 15 acres of prime habitat lie in the Stevens Point area. This park is home to dozens of migrating species and confirmed nesting area of 33 bird species including an Osprey. It has also been found to be an important "rest area" for many species of neotropical migratory birds like the Scarlet Tanager and Baltimore Oriole.
ALAS was instrumental in preserving a 5.5 acre site adjacent to Kozcizkowski Park, owned by the City of Stevens Point. In less than a year, Audubon and friends raised $308,000 for purchase of what is now the Godfrey & Maybelle Erickson Natural Area. ALAS members alone contributed $32,000, the Erickson's contributed $60,000, the City of Stevens Point contributed $75,710 and the WI DNR contributed $140,500 through the Urban Space Program.
Here are some notable accomplishments:
2011 - Two Leopold Benches were added (one recently updated) and invasive species removal took place removing black locust and tartarian honeysuckle.
2014 - A pier was added
2019 - Working in partnership with the City of Stevens Point-Forestry Department and with funds from the American Transmission Company, native plants are being planted and native habitat is planted to increase the biodiversity of this special area.
ALAS has also added an educational kiosk, two boardwalks, and an entryway sign.