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Wisconsin

Why I Give: Jeff Rusinow is Saving a Place for Birds

Here's one supporter's inspiring story about his lifelong love of birds. What's your story?

Each contributor to The Nature Conservancy has a story about why they Give. We hope you’ll share your own story, as Jeff Rusinow has done, to inspire others as you have inspired us!


Jeff Rusinow was 12 when he fell in love … with birds. It all started at camp during guided walks in the mountains of western Virginia.

“That’s where I was introduced to ecology, with birds as the centerpiece, which helped form a spiritual foundation that has lasted my entire life,” he commented.

Jeff has pursued his passion for nature and birds ever since, traveling across Wisconsin, the U.S. and Canada in search of rare species like the boreal owl and hooded crane; at last count, he had 652 species on his life list. When he’s not searching for birds, he is helping protect their habitat.

Through the Rusinow Family Foundation, Jeff supports environmental causes, especially those with a focus on birds. He has been a Nature Conservancy supporter for more than 30 years and is a member of our Legacy Club.

“I was attracted to The Nature Conservancy’s business-like, results-oriented approach to conservation,” Jeff said. “I like the way the organization collaborates with people, and its land protection statistics are impressive.”

In addition to being a bird enthusiast, Jeff is a businessman. He spent 22 years as an executive in retail management and today is an active member of the venture capital community. He has authored three books including one with a chapter about creating a personal legacy.

“There are business legacies and personal legacies,” Jeff commented. “They are both important, but I think our personal legacies may be the more important of the two. I hope a significant part of mine will be my love of birds and my effort to protect them and the land they inhabit.”


Information that may interest you ...

You can leave a legacy for nature. Learn about our Legacy Club.

Support nature through your estate plan. Find out how.

Find out how to name the Conservancy in your will.

You can protect grasslands, prairies and other natural places by making a planned gift with The Nature Conservancy. Contact us today.

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