Help Improve the Crane Trust this Giving Tuesday

For 37 years, the Crane Trust has worked tirelessly to maintain and safeguard a natural Nebraska habitat just outside of Grand Island, NE. This last vestige of the frontier serves as a monument to what was here before settlements. The diverse tallgrass prairie ecosystem we maintain can be found nowhere else in the world. It is home to families of bobcats, river otters, beavers, and badgers, a genetically pure herd of bison, and hosts one of the grandest migrations of the modern world. This is a large responsibility for a small non-profit organization, but we’re happy to say things are heading in the right direction.

With the success the Crane Trust as seen over the last few years, we have naturally garnered more attention locally, nationally, and internationally. This attention has now necessitated improvements to our Nature & Visitor Center.

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor CenterThe vision for this project is a strategic upgrade to the Crane Trust’s Nature & Visitor Center (NVC). The NVC is the Trust’s front door to the community, the state and the world. With 60,000 visitors annually, it is the focal point of the Trust’s educational activities and community outreach. It is also a centerpiece of Nebraska tourism, especially during the annual migration of 500,000+ cranes in March. Its location just off I-80 makes it an accessible and desirable stop for travelers year-round. The NVC has been named the winner of the Outstanding Nature-Tourism Entity Award, for the second year in a row for these reasons.

The upgrades will focus on three primary areas: the facilities in the Auditorium, the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center lobby, and the addition of a bison exhibit. The HD video, surround sound and lighting upgrades will allow for more exhibits of art, screening of movies, and the perfect place to hear a lecture on the migration or other conservation efforts.

© Rick Rasmussen

© Rick Rasmussen

The Bison exhibit will include a full bison mounted and displayed with a video component. This way visitors and children can see and hear the history and information on these wonderful animals. (No bison will be injured in creating this exhibit.)

Help us push this vision for the Nature & Visitor Center forward. We are asking for your support in the form of a donation in making this dream a reality.

As articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal,, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and other publications continue to feature the migration, the Nature & Visitor Center and the Crane Trust, awareness and interest will continue to grow.

The goal is to have these enhancements completed by the upcoming spring migration in March of 2017. This will be no small effort as the costs of these upgrades are approximately $125,000. Obviously this is too large of a budget item for the Trust to take on without the help of our friends.

We are offering our friends the opportunity to jump into action and assist us with this effort, and as a thank you we will list your name permanently as part of this wonderful attraction. Just imagine bringing your family to the NVC years from now, and showing them what you helped the Crane Trust create.

Please consider making a gift to support this effort. If you would like to make a larger gift in this effort, please contact Charles Cooper directly at 402-212-1074 so he may discuss recognition worthy of your support.

We hope to see your name on the list of supporters that help take the Nature & Visitor Center to the next level.


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