Why I Give: One Donor's Story

Get Outside and Get Inspired!

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Each contributor to The Nature Conservancy has a story about why they give back to nature—to leave a legacy, to support our mission, to help protect our world.

For Indiana resident John Sparzo, giving to the Conservancy is about knowing his contribution is doing good things in this world.

Read his story below and then share your own story to inspire others as you have inspired us!

My love of nature, and particularly wild creatures has deep roots. When I was a child, my walls were adorned with animal pictures from Ranger Rick and National Geographic. I remember crowding around the TV set on Sunday Evenings to watch Marlin Perkins in Wild Kingdom.

Growing up in the agricultural mid-west, there weren’t many nearby wooded haunts to explore. However, I have fond memories of exploring Christy Woods at Ball State University, a botanical oasis which was just a few blocks from my home. A few times a year, my mother would pack a picnic lunch, and we’d head to Mounds State Park to tramp through the woods together. We were not an adventurous family, so our experiences were limited to day hikes and camping in the backyard.

By college age, I had joined some environmental organizations with big names, but, over time, I became disenchanted with them. Every update, every bulletin sounded alarm over impending extinction, massive die-offs due to development, etc. Many of these organizations spent their time in the court system, trying to obstruct others rather than solve problems. I became disenchanted and for a few years did not donate to any wildlife/nature related causes.

But then, I learned about The Nature Conservancy. This organization is different. It LEADS. It builds consensus and it solves problems. While there is often a note of concern or an occasional alarm about environmental issues, the message is one of hope, joy, and celebration of successes. That is not to say TNC has its head in the sand! It says that this wise group has worked to improve the world a few acres at a time...and over the years those acres have really added up to be substantial.

While my wife won't let me post clippings from the Conservancy magazine on my bedroom wall anymore, I can still indulge my youthful fascination with wildlife and the outdoors by supporting TNC!

When choosing to support an organization or cause, I want to make sure that my donation does more than simply make me FEEL good. I want to be certain that my support actually DOES good things. Donors to The Nature Conservancy can be assured that their monetary support will leave a long-term impact and legacy for generations to come.


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