Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Riveredge Nature Center, Inc.

A new kind of nature center.

Newburg, WI

Mission

The mission of Riveredge Nature Center is To support conservation through education that awakens curiosity, engages the body, and explores connections to nature for all generations.

Riveredge is working to become the leading Midwest destination for learning, discovering, and experiencing the interconnections between nature and society. We do this through creating partnerships which transform the culture of our formal education systems, communities, and lifestyles.

Ruling Year

1968

Executive Director

Ms. Jessica Jens

Main Address

PO Box 26

Newburg, WI 53060 USA

Keywords

education, preservation, research, sustainability

EIN

39-6108549

 Number

6387091085

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Natural History, Natural Science Museums (A56)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Register now

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Add a problem overview to your profile.

Update now

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

3 4 6 11 12 13 14 15

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Education

Research

Land Restoration & Preservation

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Riveredge is working to become the leading Midwest destination for learning, discovering, and experiencing the interconnections between nature and society. We are creating partnerships which transform the culture of our formal education systems, communities, and lifestyles.

Today, Riveredge is redefining the role of the nature center in the community by launching programs that encourage exploration, adventure, and fun in the great outdoors. Getting families outdoors—where they are in their neighborhoods and schools—is one way Riveredge can advance its audacious goal of connecting nature and society through partnerships which transform our formal education systems, communities, and lifestyles.

In honor of the pioneering history of Riveredge, our initial strategies included:
• Implement the pilot program of our Riveredge Scientist in Residence program with the West Bend School District and speak to all area school districts about expanding this program to reach their students and teachers;
• Join the National Park Foundation's Every Kid in a Park program by providing all the incoming 4th grade students in Sheboygan, Washington, and Ozaukee counties with family trail pass memberships from September 2015-August 2016. As the National Park Director, Jonathan B. Jarvis explains, “Notice that the name of this initiative is not Every Kid in a National Park, its Every Kid in a Park." Riveredge is dedicated to making this happen for our local communities.
• Lead the creation of Family Nature Clubs in our local communities. As Richard Louv asks, “What if more and more parents, grandparents, and kids around the country band together to create outdoor adventure clubs, family nature networks, family outdoor clubs, or green gyms? What if this approach becomes the norm in every community?"
• Launch the Children and Nature Alliance of Southeastern Wisconsin. We will bring together leaders in the areas of health, architecture, government, and education to help us bring nature into conversations about children's health and well-being. We've already had strong interest in this initiative from the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance, the Milwaukee Zoo, Brookfield Park & Rec, and the Eastern Region of the USDA Forest Service – and that's before we've even official launched the conversation!

Riveredge is more than a nature center. These are new strategies for a new day.

Over the past 24 months, staff and board have worked to develop a plan to sustain Riveredge for the long term. This process went beyond visioning to identify both the specific challenges that have constrained membership and annual fund growth for the past ten years as well as the strategies to position Riveredge as a leader, not only, in Wisconsin, but in the region.

In 2014, the Riveredge Board and Staff leadership created an audacious goal: Riveredge will become the Midwest's leading destination for learning, discovering, and experiencing the interconnections between nature and society. We will do this through creating partnerships which transform the culture of our formal education systems, communities, and lifestyles.

This plan is built on the following simultaneous strategies:
1. A three-year investment, by Riveredge, in additional staff whose positions are directly tied to revenue growth and participation increases;
2. Collaborative partnerships that 'bring' the outdoors to schools, families, and neighborhoods;
3. New one-of-a-kind programs to increase revenue and attract new members;
4. Aggressive marketing and membership drives (including the social media plan that we briefly discussed); and
5. Staggered three-year annual fund pledges to bolster the annual fund while new member programs gain traction.

Taking risks and building partnerships are at the heart of all bold endeavors.
As you are well aware and have shared with me, the founders of Riveredge took a risk. You were part of that giant leap of faith. The results of that leap—that calculated risk—can be viewed in the faces of countless children peering into the waters of the Milwaukee River; they can be heard in the songs of the Spring Peepers calling on an early spring evening; and they can be felt in the tickling of the prairie grasses as you walk along the trails. It takes risk to make something great, and it takes risk to be a leader. The founders and leaders of the past did not encumber these risks to allow Riveredge to be a nice nature center in Ozaukee County. They took these risks so that Riveredge would be the leader in the field of environmental education, land preservation and restoration.

Over the past four decades, their efforts have built up a $3 million endowment and $3 million board discretionary (non-endowed) fund. This base of financial support provides Riveredge with the capability to regain its leadership position.

Tracking progress toward our goals is a critical component of our growth initiative. Through quarterly bench marking, we are document impacts toward the following three year goals:
1. Achieving regional impact on the environment and education
2. Achieving financial sustainability (increasing earned revenue streams and decreasing dependence on endowments and discretionary accounts)
3. Doubling membership
4. Doubling participation

In the past year, our contributors have helped us:
o Partner with the White House and their 'Every Kid in a Park' Campaign by providing free one-year all-access family memberships to fourth graders in Southeast Wisconsin.

o Place a Riveredge scientist-in-residence in the West Bend School District four days each week to help teachers integrate schools' outdoor spaces into the curriculum.

o Launch our first Family Nature Club which is hosting adventures in nature throughout Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties.

o Release our tenth batch of young Lake Sturgeon as part of a 25 year research project to restore a breeding population of Lake Sturgeon to the Milwaukee River. This year's Sturgeon Fest boasted over 2,300 visitors and included a presentation from Dr. Scott Sampson, Paleontologist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and host of PBS Kids' TV show Dinosaur Train!

In the upcoming year, we will:
• Greatly expand our internships & fellowship program as a way to inspire and train the next generation of environmental scientists, educators, and nonprofit leaders through in-depth and extensive experiences on the ground at Riveredge.
• Partner with a second local school district to help transform their culture of learning through the Riveredge Naturalist-in-Residence program.
• Begin a partnership with the Kettle Moraine YMCA to bring a nature-based 4K program to the local community.
• Partner with UW-Milwaukee's Center for Urban Initiatives & Research to plan and conduct a thorough evaluation of school student's learning outcomes while at Riveredge which will be made available and replicable by nature centers throughout Wisconsin.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

Riveredge Nature Center, Inc.

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

Sri Laken

Sexual Orientation

Disability

Diversity Strategies

close
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
close
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
check_circle
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
close
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
close
We have a diversity committee in place
close
We have a diversity manager in place
close
We have a diversity plan
close
We use other methods to support diversity