Focus on Friends–Friends of Crex, Inc**

Mushroom BoothThe Friends of Crex was established in 1984, as a support group for the wildlife education program conducted at Crex Meadows. This private, non-profit corporation provides volunteer and financial assistance needed to expand the wildlife education program. It is composed of individuals from many different backgrounds interested in increasing public understanding, appreciation, support, and enjoyment of wildlife.
With more than six hundred active members, the Friends of Crex is one of the largest friends groups associated with the 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.
Crex Meadows Wildlife Area (Map: http://dnr.wi.gov/maps/WM/NOR/7340crexmeadows.pdf) is a 30,000 acre property of wetlands, brush prairies, and forests scattered across a gently rolling landscape. It is located in western Burnett County. Crex Meadows is open year round, with something to do and see during every season. Crex receives more than 100,000 visitors each year. Most of the visitors come to view wildlife. The popularity of Crex is attributed to its large size, spectacular vistas, and great diversity of plants and wildlife. A system of well maintained roads, observation areas and a rest area provide excellent access and wildlife viewing opportunities.
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 wildlife education program has grown substantially due to the ‘Friends’ efforts. Working together with the Crex staff, The Friends of Crex were able toBus Tour Birding substantially increase visitor services and education programs. The crowning achievement came with the completion of the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education Center in April 2002.
Having accomplished the initial goals, the ‘friends’ are now prepared to enter the next stage of our evolution. Two major goals for the immediate future are:

  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 properties.
The Crex Meadows Fall Wildlife Festival is held each fall in early October.  This event attracts several hundred people each year and coincides with the peak migration of eagles, geese, ducks, and sandhill cranes.  It is designed to acquaint the general public with the wildlife and wildlife management activities of the area. 9Additional Information: http://www.crexmeadows.org/events.htm)

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*Source: Web site: http://www.crexmeadows.org/
Wisconsin DNR: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/WildlifeAreas/crex.html