Hundreds of Nachusa volunteers have invested thousands of hours protecting and planting this landscape. They created a separate non-profit, the Friends of Nachusa Grasslands, which is dedicated to the long-term protection of the preserve. In 2009, they also created a Conservancy-operated endowment fund to maintain stewardship efforts. Many have included the endowment in their estate plans.
Long-term success may rest in the hands of Nachusa's youngest supporters: the Youth Stewardship Program. For nearly a dozen years, every fourth grader at the local school has come to this outdoor classroom to count birds, harvest seed, take measurements and make sketches — all of the things that adult stewards do. These quality education experiences foster an understanding of what natural areas require to survive and support a lifelong appreciation of nature.February 27, 2011