The amount of support the Whooping cranes and Operation Migration have received from the community of Princeton and surrounding area has been nothing short of monumental.
Those that attended the Whooping Crane Festival over the weekend witnessed this firsthand.
We kicked the festivities off with a dinner at the Green Lake Legion. Crossroads provided the catering, Cheryl Murphy provided soothing sounds on her harp, and Joe Duff provided an informative presentation following dinner. We had some fantastic silent auction items contributed by supporters up for grabs.
The Princeton School hosts Saturday’s festival and for this, we’re incredibly grateful. Principal and District Administrator, Sam Santacroce and Food Service Class teacher Joni DeRuyter are the champions of the crane cause and their student volunteers are the hero’s of the day.
The students did everything from cooking pancakes and sausages to helping the vendors haul in supplies – all with a friendly smile and a ‘what-can-I-do-to-help’ attitude. HUGE thanks to you the maintenance staff at the school as well for helping with setup and tear-down.
We had some fantastic presenters this year. Dr. Ratering and his spectacular Gyrfalcon, Chief Highknocker shared their passion for falconry.
Montello native Daryl Christensen talked about Kirtland’s warblers and the work he is doing to aid their return to Wisconsin.
Children’s Edu-tainer David Stokes is always a hit with kids and adults alike and he did not disappoint.
David’s show taught kids (and adults) all about the critters that share their habitat with cranes and he had a variety of turtles, snakes and frogs, which everyone got to handle (if they wanted to). Everyone also learned some sign language and laughed – a lot!
Pat and Ginny finished off the speaker’s schedule with the educational birds from The Feather rehab center in New London.
Pat and her birds have been a staple with the Crane Festival since the very early days at Necedah and we’re thrilled she is still able to join us as she always draws a crowd eager to learn about the birds.
A number of people participated in the Nature Photography Workshop, instructed by David Heritsch. This is the first time the festival committee has offered a workshop so we’re thrilled it was well received by the budding photographers. A reminder to all to submit your favorite photograph from Sunday’s outing to: firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win a $100 gift card from Amazon.com!
On Sunday, attendee’s had the opportunity to attend a presentation offered by Associate Professor, Misty McPhee with the UW Oshkosh, Environmental Studies Program and Department of Biology. Misty’s talk was titled: Reintroducing Whooping Cranes – Navigating the Roadblocks to Success.
Everyone who attended found the program very informative and, I feel, came away with a much better understanding of the hurdles the Whoopers, and the organizations working to safeguard them are facing.
We cannot thank everyone enough for their support. Volunteer’s pitched in wherever they were needed – sometimes, without being asked. Our speaker’s line-up was fantastic. The food prepared by the Food Service Class and the Princeton Lion’s club was incredible. The entire festival committee pitched in to make this year’s event one of the best yet – We’re looking forward to next year and we hope you are too!