Thankful Thursday: Exciting Endangered Bee Species Discovery at Riveredge

Happy Thankful Thursday!

This Thankful Thursday, we’re connecting the dots between donors who fund conservation research and a Federally Endangered species…discovered onsite at Riveredge!

In recent years, the William R. and Charlotte S. Johnson Fund has supported research and conservation interns at Riveredge. Char, as we knew her, was one of the founders of Riveredge Nature Center and their donations have afforded us the capacity to provide college students and recent graduates with work experience in the field.

One of our interns this year is Caleb, a student at Concordia University Wisconsin, and his focus has been on researching insects in the prairie. In the past couple of weeks, with dogged focus, documentation, and follow-up research, Caleb confirmed with this photograph the existence of the elusive Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis) at Riveredge.

For years, we’ve fostered habitat for this Federally Endangered species, hoping that we would one day be able to confirm its presence here. Thanks to the support of the William R. and Charlotte S. Johnson Fund, and the determination of the interns they’ve empowered us to employ, we’re pleased to announce that Riveredge is indeed a home for the Federally Endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee!

Char’s legacy lives on through the wonderful creatures, abundant and uncommon alike, that know these acres along the Milwaukee River as their sanctuary. Thank you!