Norfolk Botanical Garden has officially been named the recipient of a $125,000 prize in the Chase Community Giving program. This award was the result of the online supporters who are part of the NBG’s “eagle community,” who nominated the Garden and began rallying votes.
The Chase Community Giving program is designed to benefit 501c3 charities with operating expenses between $1 and $10 million. During round 1, the Garden placed 9th in the Top 100 eligible charities, receiving $25,000. During round 2, the charity with the most online votes received $500,000 and the remaining Top 24 charities were awarded with amounts ranging between $20,000 and $400,000. NBG was pleased to be counted among the Top 10, coming in eighth and earning another $100,000.
“This is just an amazing award and shows the impact of the digital community. I wish to extend a great big thank you to all our supporters and voters. This wonderful award would not have been possible without you,” said Don Buma, Executive Director of Norfolk Botanical Garden.
During round 2, charities were asked to submit their ‘Big Idea’ for what they would do with the money, should they earn the big prize.
Norfolk Botanical Garden’s vision is to upgrade its technical capabilities and create new programs that would promote its bald eagle conservation work. The Garden’s nesting eagle pair was in the news this spring, first when three eggs were discovered in the nest and later when all three hatched and began to thrive. An “eagle cam” pointed at the nest tracked the nesting pair and their eaglets, providing an online glimpse into their world to a worldwide audience enthralled by the experience.
Then, after feeding her chicks in the morning on April 26, the female eagle was out hunting when she was struck and killed by an inbound plane landing at Norfolk International Airport, which is adjacent to the Garden. The news devastated many in the online community who had tracked the eagle family’s development.
With the grant money, the Garden intends to develop a free educational program titled “Without Boundaries – Wild Eagle Encounters.”
“The funds will allow us to further develop our environmental education programs and make them available to schools and individuals around the world using multimedia, website and online programs,” said Donna Krabill, Director of Education and Communication at NBG.