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August 17, 2017

We would like to share some news with all members of Friends of Reinstein Woods! Many of you may already know of this news, and some of its impacts are already being seen around the preserve, but we feel it deserves some special coverage.

In 2015, a member of the Friends of Reinstein Woods graciously left us a large and unexpected gift as part of her estate. Dr. Carolyn Tasa was a Friends member since 2009. She worked in our community as a professor of Anthropology and Psychology at ECC for several years. She was a lover of animals and nature, and her special gift to us has and will allow us to further our mission.

This generous gift came as quite a surprise. The Friends of Reinstein Woods board of directors met to decide how best to use these funds that were given to us all. We felt so grateful to know that another person loved this place as much as we all do, and she took action on that feeling to plan this extraordinary gift.

Some of the improvements that have been made with Carolyn’s gift include:

  • Acquiring new equipment for the “Day in the Life of the Buffalo River,” a field experience for more than 300 students annually,
  • Acquiring new taxidermy mounts, and protect existing mounts from moth infestations with custom-built enclosures for the mounts most frequently used in education programs,
  • Providing public Wifi for visitors and for use in programs, such as the recently held “Nature Tech” spring break series for kids,
  • Improving our education programs by purchasing insect nets, skulls, and a display board,
  • Increasing our operational efficiency through new shelving units to hold snowshoes and education program supplies, an updated computer for the office manager and a laptop for the naturalist interns, and
  • Replacing a broken refrigerator and freezer to store items used for Friends’ events and fundraisers.

The donation is also supporting our current strategic planning process, enabling us to strengthen the long-term health of the organization.  The remaining majority of the gift has been invested wisely by our finance committee to provide future income for the Friends and support future needs.

If you would like more information about making a planned gift to Reinstein Woods, please contact Stefanie Ecker at (716) 432-0397. Gifts do not have to be large to be meaningful, and a planned gift can be a great option for many of us.

-Stefanie Ecker, VP of Friends of Reinstein Woods

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