The Peterborough Field Naturalists (PFN) established the Legacy Fund to provide an on-going stream of income to support the Club’s purposes. PFN’s objectives are:
1. To acquire and disseminate knowledge of natural history;
2. To protect and preserve wildlife; and
3. To stimulate public interest in nature and its preservation.
The Club was able to set up this fund as a result of a substantial bequest from Rhea Bringeman, a long-time Club member. Over a period of forty-plus years, Rhea contributed to the Club in many ways, as President, Vice-president, Secretary, Ontario Nature representative, and compiler of the Orchid Diary of members’ sightings and observations. Above all, she is remembered for her kindness, generosity, dedication and love of nature.
Over the past two years, the Club has used the proceeds of the Fund to finance special projects and initiatives as opposed to normal club operations. The PFN Board of Directors has agreed that the annual income from the fund will be used for the following purposes:
Citizen Science Projects: Operating the annual Peterborough Christmas Bird Count and the Petroglyphs Butterfly Count and other citizen-science projects.
Youth Education: Sending a young person to the Ontario Nature Youth Summit; four annual awards at the Peterborough Regional Science Fair for students in the Elementary Level (Grades 4 to 6) and Junior Level (Grades 7 & 8) for the best projects focusing on Nature/Wildlife/Environment.
Community Natural Heritage Stewardship Projects: Recent projects include construction of seed storage for bird feeders at Ecology Park, support for Pollinator Summit, installation of bird feeders at Hospice Peterborough, and interpretive signage at Alderville Black Oak Savannah.
Research: A new initiative in 2019, small grants were awarded to researchers at Trent University. The projects funded were Round Goby Movement Behavior Project and The Growth Patterns of Wild Spotted Salamanders. In the past the Club has also made a substantial contribution to a study of Brook Trout in Harper Park by a Trent University MSc candidate.
Thanks to the generosity of people like Rhea, the PFN will be able to fund and sponsor similar projects in the future.