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 conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. 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.
Greetings From the President
Dr. Ned Grossnickle will serve as the 2020-2021 President of the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society. He has a long interest in birds and environmental issues, and has served on the ALAS Board of Directors for about 10 years. He is a Life Member of MREA and the Sierra Club. He served 15 years on a national committee of the Sierra Club, representing the Midwest Region. He was also the founding group leader of the Stevens Point Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby, and continues to be very active in CCL. He serves as the liaison from CCL to 350 Stevens Point, a UWSP environmental organization. Previously, he was a professor of biology in the UW System and Grand Canyon University for 33 years, and taught in the summer at the UWSP Treehaven Field Station. He is also a Fulbright Scholar, representing the USA in Finland during a sabbatical. His research expertise is in zooplankton feeding habits and vertical migration in lakes, but he has developed a growing interest in birds locally and throughout the world. He welcomes all with an interest in birds and environmental issues to become active in ALAS.
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
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
2020/2021 Dates: Sept 9, Oct 14, Nov 11, Jan 13, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 14, May 12
President: Ned Grossnickle 715-693-6095
Vice-President: Eric Anderson 715-592-4423
Secretary: Joe Schultz 715-341-5521
Treasurer: Larry Graham 715-344-0968
Bird Seed Sale: John Munson 715-341-1208
Nancy & Korad Chojnacki 715-344-5763
Christmas Bird Count Coordinators
Gerald Janz (Stevens Point)
Karen Dostal (Amherst) 715-592-4706
Conservation: Kent Hall 715-341-8081
Education: Karen Dostal 715-592-4706
Field Trips: Bob Freckmann 715-344-0686
Jr. Audubon-Schmeeckle: Susan Schuller 715-340-4877
Karen Dostal 715-592-4706
Membership: Annie Baker 785-375-4633
Newsletter: Lora Hagen
Programs: Eric Anderson 715-592-4423
Sue Hall 715-307-4851
Publicity: Jan Seiler 715-344-0168
Web Page: Susan Schuller 715-340-4877
Facebook: Susan Schuller 715-340-4877
Annie Baker 785-375-4633
Jim Canales 715-252-2116
Konrad Chojnacki 715- 344-5763
Nancy Chojnacki 715-344-5763
Sue Hall 715-344-8081
Alan Haney 715-592-6949
Susan Schuller 715-340-4877
Jan Seiler 715-344-0168
Brad Zinda 715-570-9587
Bob Freckmann 715-344-0686
Anne Graham 715-344-0968
Bob Juracka 715-824-5339
Loretta Klingenberg 715-824-5475
Nancy Stevenson 715-341-0084
Jen Zach 715-252-8903
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
The Aldo Leopold Audubon Society (ALAS) grant program is available to be used for environmental education programs and projects in the Central Wisconsin Region including Portage, Wood, Marathon and Waupaca counties. Grants are due March 1st annually.
The Aldo Leopold Audubon Society (ALAS) grant program provides grants of up to $300. Grant proposals will be evaluated by the ALAS Board of Directors. All grants submitted will be considered based on the merit of the proposal.
Please send your proposal no later than March 1 of 2021. 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
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 speakers 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.