Friends of Crex, Inc.

Interested in becoming a member of the Friends of Crex? 

CLICK HERE for an application form.

Pay your membership online with PayPal! 

  Please write in the message space that the funds transfer is for your membership.  If you include additional funds as a donation, please include what you intend your donation to be used for (Endowment Fund, Land Acqusisition Fund, etc.).  You can pay through PayPal directly from your checking account, or with a credit card account.  A small fee is deducted from each payment on our end, similar to the merchant fee that is associated with accepting credit cards.

Would you like to donate to the Endowment Fund? 
CLICK HERE to go to the Donations Page.

Would you like to donate to the Land Acquisition Fund? 
CLICK HERE to open a Land Acquisition Brochure for more information.

The mission of the Friends of Crex:  To support and assist the Wisconsin DNR with wildlife management and wildlife                                                                                            conservation education at the Crex Meadows Complex.

 Friends of Crex vision:  Wildlife conservation education and management that generates a land and wildlife ethic into perpetuity.

Friends of Crex Board of Directors 2015-16       
       President:                   Dick Sandve, Minneapolis, MN
       Vice-President            Paul Kooiker, Grantsburg, WI
       Treasurer:                   Alan Roelfs, Grantsburg, WI
       Secretary:                   Jean Marie Waddell, Hudson, WI
       Board Members:        Sarah Busch, Grantsburg, WI
                                          Mike Cole, Grantsburg, WI
                                          Mike Prokosch, White Bear Lake, MN


The Friends of Crex is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 1984 for the purpose of assisting with and supporting wildlife education and wildlife management activities at Crex Meadows and the other Glacial Lake Grantsburg properties.  We provides volunteer and financial assistance needed to expand the wildlife education program and assist with wildlife management activities at Crex.  We are composed of individuals from many different backgrounds interested in increasing public understanding, appreciation, support, and enjoyment of wildlife.  With more than a thousand active members, the Friends of Crex is one of the largest friends groups associated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

Each year, Friends of Crex members provide hundreds of hours of volunteer assistance and thousands of dollars of financial support.  Their financial support has allowed the Crex staff to purchase equipment, supplies, and displays, and fund a  Program Assistant/Naturalist position at the Visitor Center.  Volunteer projects include; litter pick-up, staffing the Visitor Center during spring and fall weekends, assisting with wildlife surveys, duck and goose banding, recording goose neck collars, preparing newsletter mailings, and helping  with the annual Spring Bird Festival, the Fall Wildlife Festival, and the Friends of Crex Annual Meeting.

The Friends of Crex publishes a newsletter, The Sharptale, four times a year.  Mailings are sent out in March, June, September, and December.  The newsletter keeps members informed of all Friends of Crex activities and current happenings on Crex.  Non-members may obtain copies of the newsletter at the Visitor Center or on our website.

Initial goals achieved
When the Friends of Crex was established, we initially concentrated on wildlife education activities. Our immediate goal was to provide the volunteer and financial assistance necessary to expand the wildlife education program. Our ultimate goal was to provide funding for construction of the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education Center.

The wildlife education program has grown substantially due to our efforts. Working together with the Crex staff, we were able to substantially increase visitor services and education programs. Our crowning achievement came with the completion of the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education Center in April 2002. We now have a well-established wildlife education program and a first-class education facility at Crex.

Changing needs:
Having accomplished our initial goals, we moved on to the next stage of our evolution. We had two major goals for the immediate future: 1. to insure that the Wildlife Education Center is adequately staffed and fully operational. 2. to offer donors the opportunity to fund wildlife management activities, including land acquisition, at Crex Meadows and the other GLG properties.

The Friends of Crex Endowment Fund: a perpetual source of income:

The Friends of Crex Endowment Fund was established in 2002 to provide a perpetual source of funding for the wildlife education and wildlife management programs conducted at Crex Meadows.   Gifts to the fund are invested to provide a reliable rate of return.  The principal is never spent.  The interest is spent only as needed to fund various education and management projects at Crex.  Unused interest is added to the principal.  

The Endowment Fund  has already been used to help purchase two parcels of land on Crex Meadows, and is now set to fund our new full-time Wildlife Conservation Educator, who began working at the visitor center on February 25, 2013, for many years to come.

We need your continued support to keep our education program going.  Would you like to donate to the Endowment Fund? 
CLICK HERE to go to the Donations Page.

The Land Acquisition Fund: 

When Crex Meadows was established in 1946, a Project Boundary was drawn around property that would create the most effective and productive wildlife area. At the present time the DNR owns 28,019 acres of the 31, 094 acres that lie within the project boundary.  This leaves 3,075 acres still in private   ownership within Crex Meadows.   The DNR has made a continuous effort to purchase this land as it becomes available, but for a variety  of reasons it is becoming more and more difficult for the DNR to purchase property in and around Crex Meadows.  

In 2010 The Friends of Crex established a fund, separate from the Endowment Fund, to help the DNR purchase key properties within the boundaries of the Glacial Lakes Grantsburg Wildlife Areas (Crex Meadows, Fish Lake, Amsterdam Sloughs and Danbury).  Money donated to the Endowment Fund is kept liquid so that we can act quickly when a property becomes available. There are many ways money from the fund may be used:  as matching funding for Stewardship Grants and other grants from conservation groups, as collateral for short-term loans, or to purchase land directly. 

Once the Friends of Crex has secured property within the boundaries, the land will be turned over to the DNR and the account will be replenished as soon as possible under state guidelines so that the fund will be revolving and a small amount of money will go a long way to ensure that Crex Meadows remains a pristine wildlife area for years to come.  

So far, the Land Acquisition Fund has been used to purchase eight properties: Two of these properties were (78 acres and 40 acres) which was subsequently "purchased" from us with Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funds and Federal Section 6 Karner Blue Butterfly funds, then donated to the Wisconsin DNR.  A small parcel was purchased outright and donated directly to the state, and three parcels were bought directly from the state.  Two are now currently owned directly by the Friends of Crex until funding can be obtained by the state to buy them from us.

To date (March 2016) we have raised over $410,000 in donations and grants for use in purchasing 550 acres of land.  But there is more land out there that needs to be protected.  If you would like to donate more money to the Land Acquisition Fund to help us purchase more land as it becomes available, please use the donation brochure.   You may also donate via paypal using the link at the top of this page.  Be sure to indicate that the donation is for the Land Acqusition Fund.

You can “Own” Crex Meadows:

The original land at Crex Meadows cost the State of Wisconsin $30 per acre.   Each donor who gives $30 or more will receive an honorary deed to current Crex Meadows property (at a rate of $1500/acre, $30 would “buy” 870 square feet) which will   include coordinates to your property.

Would you like to donate to the Land Acquisition Fund? 
CLICK HERE to open a Land Acquisition Brochure for more information.

Giving to the Friends of Crex Endowment Fund or Land Acquisiton Fund:

There are many ways of giving. Several of the most common ways are listed below.

During your lifetime:

1. You may make a direct gift of money, stocks, bonds or property that is fully deductible, up to the limits on your return, at the full market value on the date of the gift.  

2. On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law legislation that retroactively exteneded the charitable IRA rollover for 2015 and made this provision permanent for future years.  For those aged 70 1/2 or older, it is once again possible to make charitable gifts of up to $100,000 directly from traditional and Roth IRA accounts to one or qualified charities without paying federal income tax on the withdrawal.  Of course the Friends of Crex is one of those qualified charities.  Contact your IRA administrator for more information.

3. Of greater benefit to you, the donor, is to donate “appreciated assets” of stocks, bonds, or property. This is usually considered wiser since one avoids paying capital gains taxes on the “increase” in value. The charity gets a larger amount than if you paid income taxes first. The donor also gets to deduct the full-appreciated value up to your income tax limits.

4. You can establish your own private “charitable foundation.” This is intended for people who want to donate to several different charities annually. However, this is very expensive to set up and probably doesn’t pay unless your gift is more than $250,000.

5. An easier way of donating through a “foundation”, if you have smaller amounts to give, is to go through a “community foundation.” There are over 400 of these in the U. S. and they handle all of the administrative chores for an annual fee of 0.50% to 1.0% of the principal (depending upon the amount donated and the particular foundation charges). You set up a “donor–advised fund” within your chosen community foundation, receive a tax deduction for the year of donation, and then decide the amount of money for each charity. Examples of community foundations are Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund (1-800-682-4438), Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program (1-888-383-4483), Lutheran Community Foundation (1-800-365-4172), The Minneapolis Foundation, and The St. Paul Foundation.

Upon your death (deferred giving):

1. You could work with your estate planning attorney to give a gift of money, stocks, bonds, property or other assets by designating Friends of Crex Inc. as a beneficiary in your will, living trust, or other type of trust.

2. Giving tax-sheltered or tax-deferred assets such as in IRA, 401 ( k ), or 403 (b) to a charity is very easy. This can be done by requesting a new beneficiary form from the holder of the assets and designating the specific charity (in our case, Friends of Crex, Inc.) as a beneficiary. Actually, many financial planners recommend this because the funds go directly to the charity without a decrease due to income taxes, estate taxes, or other probate and administrative fees.

3. If you intend to give to only one charity, you might consider a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT). You get a tax deduction in the year that you set up the trust and then receive annual payments that you designate for life. The charity receives the “remainder” at the time of your death. The first type of CRT is called a “charitable remainder annuity trust.” You designate that you want a fixed annual amount of the initial value donated (e. g. $5000 of $100,000, with a 5% minimum) for the rest of your life. The second type of CRT is called a “charitable remainder unitrust.” Here, you designate a fixed percent of the annual value of the investment (Ex. 5% of $114,000). The annual payment varies depending upon the success of the investments.

4. You can multiply your charitable gift in a variety of ways using term life insurance. For example, you might cash out IRA monies to pay life insurance premiums for term life insurance with the specific charity named as a beneficiary on the policy. You pay income taxes on the IRA assets redeemed but this is balanced on your income taxes by a charitable deduction (equal to the insurance premiums paid). Theoretically, you could cash out $50,000 of IRA assets over a 8-10 year period and leave the charity a $100,000+ donation under some current interest rate scenarios. Consult with various insurance companies about this type of donation.

Again, these are just a few of the more common methods of charitable giving. Many other options are available.

The Friends of Crex does not endorse any particular method of donation or company, nor can we provide advice on complicated tax issues. We will strive to assist you as much as possible in your decision about a gift to the endowment fund, but charitable giving and estate planning are complicated topics that generally require the advice of attorneys, financial planners, or tax consultants.

“Be part of the future of Crex Meadows”

Your gift to the Friends of Crex will help insure that wildlife education and wildlife management efforts at Crex Meadows continue in perpetuity.

To donate to the endowment fund or the land acquisition fund, please CLICK HERE to go to the donations page.







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***This website is brought to you by the Friends of Crex, a non-profit organization

dedicated to SUPPORTING WILDLIFE AND WILDLIFE EDUCATION at the crex meadows complex***


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