Crane Trust Open House Puts Community on Center Stage

Wood River, Neb–The Crane Trust is holding its first-ever open house at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center on February 25, 2014. A number of exciting new Crane Trust programs and initiatives will be on display, with a renewed focus on community outreach and education.

"Our objective for the Open House is really twofold," says Crane Trust President & CEO Chuck Cooper. "First, of course, is to give people an opportunity to come out and see some of the exciting new changes and programs we have underway at the Crane Trust. And secondly, to give the community a chance to come together and learn about these changes and new developments in a relaxed atmosphere of good cheer, with new and old friends and neighbors alike."

Deanna Bosselman and other friends of the Crane Trust are helping to organize the event, which will be held at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center on Tuesday February 25, from 5:30-7:00pm. A short, 15-minute program will start at 6:00 p.m., with brief remarks from Crane Trust President & CEO Chuck Cooper; GIPS Assistant Superintendent Robin Dexter for the area's new Roots & Shoots youth program (affiliated with the Jane Goodall Institute); and Deanna Bosselman with the new Friends of the Crane Trust group.

"I am so pleased to be back volunteering again as part of the new Friends of the Crane Trust group and helping to support the Crane Trust," says Deanna Bosselman, former head of the old Friends of Crane Meadows group. "We're already planning, for example, to bring back the Bird Buddies Bash later this year to support community outreach and education—and so much more. Needless to say, I am very excited about the Open House and look forward to doing everything I can to help this important community resource grow for future generations."

A new crane-centered look for the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center (inside and out) and interactive communications capability will be on display for the Open House, thanks to the generous support of world-renowned photographer Tom Mangelsen, Renze Displays, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the Platte Basin Timelapse Project, and other friends of the Crane Trust. Light hors d'houevres, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages will be served throughout.

"The sign in our parking lot says, 'A Welcome Place for Friends and Nature', and we mean it," says Cooper. "With the spring migration of sandhill cranes just around the corner, and the tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world that will be flocking here to see them, our timing couldn't be better. We're very and excited about the important changes we're making and what they portend for the future."

Established in 1978, the Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat for the endangered whooping crane, sandhill cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through scientific research, habitat management, community outreach and education. The Crane Trust today is responsible for more than 10,000 acres of vital habitat in south-central Nebraska through a combination of conservation easements and ownership. The Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center (formerly Crane Meadows) serves as a welcome place for the public to experience and learn about these native Crane Trust lands and the wildlife that depend on them to thrive.