October 19, 2021

Community Foundation Grants $25,000 to Help Protect Federally Endangered Woodpecker at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

Indian River Community Foundation President and CEO, Jeff Pickering with St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park Manager, Dylan Gavagni.
Photo credit: Maureen Nicolace.

The Indian River Community Foundation recently awarded $25,000 to the Florida State Parks Foundation to help save the endangered Red-cockaded woodpecker at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park.

Red-cockaded woodpeckers are only found in about 10 locations in Florida state, one of which is St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park in Fellsmere. The Florida State Parks Foundation aims to purchase a Bobcat 5600 Toolcat with the funds, which will maintain the birds' habitat.

“The survival of this rare woodpecker is now dependent on human intervention to ensure they have food, shelter and suitable nesting sites,” said Foundation CEO Julia Gill Woodward. “The preservation of their existing habitat in Indian River County is crucial, and the Florida Park Service is well-positioned to fulfill this need thanks to their experience with land management and their understanding of species conservation.”

“Given the enormity of the problems that philanthropy is often called on to address, this grant represents something very specific that our Community Foundation can do to make a meaningful difference in our local environment,” said Indian River Community Foundation President and CEO Jeff Pickering.  “Extinction is forever, and our support of this project is something that we are proud to provide to give these special birds a fighting chance at long-term survival.”

While most of the Community Foundation’s grants are awarded by clients through donor advised funds, Indian River Community Foundation’s competitive grant program is made possible through the generosity of anonymous donors to several grantmaking funds, including the Community Enrichment Fund.  These valuable resources support the Community Foundation’s mission of building a better community through donor-driven philanthropy.

Indian River Community Foundation was established in 2008 with a mission of building a better community through donor-driven philanthropy.  With assets of approximately $90 million in 200 charitable giving accounts, the Community Foundation and its clients have awarded more than $80 million in grants, mostly to nonprofit charitable organizations located in Indian River County, Florida.  Visit www.ircommunityfoundation.org to learn more.

Click here to read more about this grant in an article written by Julia Gill Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the Florida State Parks Foundation.

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