Nature has always been important to Susan Bruce. She grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and greatly admired the nearby Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers and local wildlife. As a young girl, she traveled west with her family and later worked two summers in Yellowstone National Park. “Those summers had a great impact on me, but when I met my future spouse while teaching in Idaho, my appreciation for nature grew tremendously.”
Her husband Bob was raised in the West and according to Susan, had a profound love of the natural world. “He was a hunter and would look so intently for any intriguing feature on our excursions outdoors, like interesting tracks, rocks or arrowheads.” After he passed away, Susan continued to explore and learn about nature from her many trips abroad, including a Nature Conservancy-sponsored expedition to Antarctica.
Lately though, she spends more time in landscapes around Eau Claire. "Today, I enjoy the many natural areas closer to home and find studying the sky, with its beautiful light and winter storms, to be very nourishing.”
When asked why she supports The Nature Conservancy, Susan mentions a growing cultural disconnect with nature and threats to important habitats. As she puts it, “Our world has so much unplanned development happening and people now seem far more attuned to technology and gadgets than nature. It is a disturbing trend. We need nature to engage our senses!”
Susan has contributed to the conservation mission of The Nature Conservancy for 29 years. She recently also established a charitable gift annuity with the Conservancy. “I wanted to celebrate my 75th birthday last year in a meaningful way by creating an annuity with an organization that holds values I respect, endorse and live by.”
Her gift generates a regular stream of income for her now and will ultimately support the Conservancy's conservation programs in the future. “It is comforting to know that I will continue to receive payments from my gift while I’m alive and that it will benefit the good work of the Conservancy beyond my lifespan.”
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April 03, 2013