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Frey Family Nature Trail Dedication

If you have explored our trails behind the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center recently, you may have noticed some new signs. We are thrilled to dedicate our trail system to great friends of the Trust, Doug and Allison Frey.

Doug and Allison are passionate champions for wetland habitats in Nebraska and for vital ecosystems worldwide. They personally embrace experiences in nature and have raised their family to enjoy, appreciate, and advocate for the great outdoors. From Doug’s role as a Wetlands America Trust, trustee, to Doug and Allison’s membership in the Ducks Unlimited President’s Council, to their generous support of Crane Trust’s land acquisition efforts, they are dedicated to saving critical wetland resources for wildlife.

The following paragraphs are from Doug himself, describing his love for Crane Trust’s mission and the inspiration behind his support.

As a child growing up in Grand Island, Nebraska, Doug was bothered by noise, artificial light, and crowds. As a teen he often suffered feeling overwhelmed and bewildered. He found comfort and calm in the outdoor world, and he spent much time there.

During his young life, Doug and his mother often went for car rides to view the cranes. Doug’s mother had been confined to a wheelchair his whole life and a car ride offered a physical and mental escape. Often, they would sit for hours watching without speaking.  Once his mother remarked “when I watch the cranes fly and dance, I no longer feel bound to this earth by my crippled body.” 

Doug left the area after high school to seek his fame and fortune. After college, he travelled the world for work in exotic places. While in the Amazon rainforest working on a development with local tribes, he had an epiphany about the sandhill cranes. Who was watching out for them and the critical habitat near his hometown in Nebraska? The thought bothered him throughout a dangerous trip back to civilization. Surviving the trip, he vowed to quit using the word “someday” to avoid doing the important things in life. Things like telling a parent, friend, or child you love them; helping someone; volunteering; or making a donation. 

Doug and Allison want you to enjoy your outdoor experiences at Crane Trust. The Crane Trust is a refuge for many species providing food, shelter, and water. It is critical to the cranes’ survival for another thousand years. But such a place is also a refuge for people and provides escape from modern life, a place to find yourself and for some, a connection to God. 

All of us at the Crane Trust feel extraordinary gratitude to Doug and Allison for their generous commitment to protecting critical natural landscapes for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.