The Community Foundation Martin – St. Lucie
As our area evolves and grows, it’s important that we find a balance to preserve and conserve the land on which our extraordinary wildlife depends.
– Elizabeth Barbella, President & CEO
A life-long love of the outdoors, and the wildlife he shares it with, lead a local resident to fund efforts to protect local habitats.
The Wildlife Fund was established in 2021 by Stephen Stock to support the protection and preservation of wildlife and related land conservation. He launched the fund, in partnership with The Community Foundation, with the intention that others who share his passion for the outdoors will contribute to the fund and their combined resources will have a greater impact.
“We’re outdoor people,” says Stephen. He explains that he’s spent half in life in Florida, kayaking, hiking, scuba diving and enjoying 4×4 adventures. The other half his life was spent in New England, participating in a variety of outdoor activities. His grown sons live in Colorado, which he loves to visit. Stephen and his wife, Sandra, call North Carolina home in the summer. No matter the season, he’s exploring his environment.
Stephen chose to create a fund to benefit wildlife and conservation of their habitats because of his deep appreciation for the value of wildlife. “We share our space with so many creatures. They’re here for a reason, but we don’t spend time thinking about where they go or how they’ll survive when development destroys habitats.”
He talks about a bobcat that migrates through his backyard in Jensen Beach. “Seeing that, it adds to our quality of life.” He asks us to think about a hike or another time outside and how much the experience is enhanced if we see wildlife. “We need to focus on that here in Martin County, raise awareness and educate the children of our community.”
The Wildlife Fund is not about wildlife rescue, but about allowing wildlife to survive and thrive. It will accomplish that, one day, by buying and preserving land. Stephen hopes the fund’s work, and that of diverse groups committed to raising awareness around the same cause, can ultimately help to affect the preservation of habitats. “It comes down to the people who use the habitat,” he notes. “We want to engender appreciation and responsibility as a civilized society.”
The Fund is open to receiving contributions large and small. Individuals, families and businesses may contribute to the fund. All contributions receive a charitable tax receipt. Contributions will be used to address pressing and unforeseeable needs. Only qualified non-profits and projects will be funded.
Click on one of the following to learn how to support The Wildlife Fund