Continuing to better the landscape of the region, the St. Croix Valley Foundation created a new Environmental Field of Interest Fund to help ensure a greener future. Seeded by Hudson residents Jim and Judy Freund through a generous $100,000 gift, the couple is leaning into its passion for the environment. “When you think about trying to leave a legacy that is going to enhance the St. Croix Valley for families that live here, the environment simply has to be a part of that,” Judy says.
The St. Croix Valley Foundation has helped provide funding for projects to improve the community for over 25 years. By connecting people with programs through a common love for the Valley, the organization encourages people to collaborate with one another to make an impact.
As a part of the wide variety of funds open to contributors, the foundation features a collection of interest funds that make it easier for individuals to allocate their donations in a way that is most meaningful to them. Conceptualized by passionate community members, these endowment funds consist of a variety of sectors fit for different interests, such as music, education, health and wellness, the arts and now environmental.
What makes the interest funds so effective is the flexibility. Similar to what St. Croix Valley Foundation president Heather Logelin describes as the difference between a checking and a savings account, the donations attribute themselves to becoming long-term dollars that are reinvested annually in the form of grants to a specific area of focus. “That is the beauty of these field of interest funds is that they really give us, now and in the future, the ability to pivot and direct those resources at whatever the greatest needs are in that broad environmental definition moving forward,” Logelin says.
Fitting under one of two broad points of baseline criteria, programs and organizations seeking grants from this environmental fund must either support environmental education or work to promote, protect and restore the natural resources and character of the St. Croix Valley. “You don’t want to handcuff the foundation with our idea because the need will change,” Freund says.
Understanding the need to preserve the natural resources of the Valley, Logelin says this fund will help raise awareness for environmental issues and provide a way for more individuals to get involved. “We really think there is an opportunity to connect passionate donors to projects and organizations that protect, restore and educate about the importance of these natural resources,” Logelin says.
Through their willingness to provide a resource for others to get involved, Freund says she hopes opportunities like this will inspire others to make their voices heard. “I would like to think that every citizen sees a role for themselves in trying to create a positive impact,” she says. “Everyone should find their passion and figure out how they can make an impact on their community however big or however small.”
St. Croix Valley Foundation, 516 Second St. Suite 214, Hudson, Wis.; 715.386.9490 scvfoundation.org