WCEP Donor Recognition
One of the challenges for all non-profits is figuring out how to appropriately acknowledge the dedicated supporters who make our work possible. Early on in the project, one of the ideas developed by WCEP was a Donor Recognition Board. You may have seen this large, plank signboard adjacent to the old Headquarters Building at the Necedah NWR. Your name may even be engraved on one of its many brass plaques.
Without the contributions made by our individual and corporate supporters there would be no Whooping cranes in the eastern flyway. There wouldn’t have been thousands of awareness-raising media stories, nor the multitude of public education opportunities. There wouldn’t be hundreds of thousands of students a year using lesson plans based on Whooping crane migration (thanks to WCEP co-operator Journey North).
There wouldn’t have been ten years of popular and hugely successful Necedah Lion’s Club Whooping Cranes Festivals drawing people from across North America, nor, in all likelihood, would there be a new visitor’s center at the Necedah Wildlife Refuge. Inarguably, Whooping cranes and the WCEP reintroduction project put Necedah on the world's wildlife conservation map.
Despite reintroductions no longer happening on the Necedah refuge, Whooping cranes will continue to make it their home for many generations. Thus WCEP thought the Donor Recognition Board would remain at the Necedah refuge in acknowledgement of the contributions of those who made it all possible, and of the decade of enormous effort their generosity allowed. However, that was not to be.
With the new visitor’s center completed and other new work planned, WCEP was advised by the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge that they no longer had an appropriate place for the Donor Recognition Board and asked that it be removed.