Current Grant Support

Four Cedars Environmental Fund

of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation DSACF

The Museum received $5,000 from the Four Cedars Environmental Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation to fund our “Bee Wonderful” project.

The Bee Wonderful project encompasses exhibit design, exhibit construction, and exhibit-related programming in conjunction with our 2018 main museum exhibit. This 1,000 square foot exhibit will engage visitors in the idea that native bees are amazing creatures who play an invaluable role in our ecosystems and food systems and who need our help.

The Museum has been gardening for pollinators for many years, and we currently maintain a rain garden filled with native plants, a native plant pollinator garden, and a songbird garden. In addition, we partner with the Cable Community Farm by designating one of our interns as a “Pollinator Intern,” who helps maintain and teach about the native pollinator gardens and biodiversity project at the Cable Community Farm.

While exhibit construction, programming, and garden maintenance are normal parts of our operational budget to a certain extent, the Bee Wonderful project goes above and beyond our normal activities. Three exciting opportunities to engage with visitors require extra funding. Those activities include:

  • Installing a permanent observation hive for our very own colony of honeybees inside the Museum.
  • Hiring Heather Holm (author of two award winning books about native bees and other pollinators of native plants) to consult on the text and design of the exhibit to ensure the highest accuracy and relevancy possible.
  • Inviting Heather Holm to give both a free public talk and a hands-on workshop to teach people that native bees are amazing creatures who play an invaluable role in our ecosystems and food systems and who need our help.

C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant

through the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

NRF Logo 2 color transparent background large (3)

native bee homes

The Museum received $1,000 to fund our “Bee Wonderful: Providing Homes for Native Bees” project.

The purpose of this project is to educate the public about concrete actions they can take to conserve and provide habitat for native bees. Native bee populations in the state of Wisconsin have shown marked decline due a myriad of factors including habitat loss, changing climate conditions, and increases in both predator and pest populations. People can directly benefit native bee populations by increasing available habitats. Objectives of this project include building bumblebee and mason bee homes, educating children and adults through programming, and planting a native plant pollinator garden at the Cable Community Farm.

Citizens Natural Resource Association of Wisconsin Grant                   looking upCNRA logo

The Cable Natural History Museum received a $600 grant from Citizens Natural Resource Association of Wisconsin ( to fund the BioBlitz event this June. This event gives the public  opportunity to learn from taxonomic experts representative from multiple scientific fields of study. The goal of this day long event is to document all the species we can at one area during one day to give us a “snapshot in time” of the species present.

This is the Museum’s first BioBlitz event and includes insects, plants, mushrooms, birds, mammals, and nocturnal insects and birds.

The grant will support the BioBlitz event with equipment, supplies, and lunch and travel for the taxa experts.

Xcel Energy Foundation Grant                   Print

The Cable Natural History Museum received a $1,500 grant from Xcel Energy Foundation tJunior Naturalisto fund the summer Junior Naturalist program. This program offers environmental education for children in grades K-6 through games, art, and outdoor exploration.

This past summer, the Junior Naturalists enjoyed catching aquatic insects in the Namekagon River, meeting Carson the Red-tailed Hawk during a bird program, exploring the Cable Community Farm, watching the fish crew from the Wisconsin DNR shock for fish, and even meeting a live Big Brown Bat in a program about noc
turnal creatures. Over 90 children were in attendance this summer.

The grant will support the Junior Naturalist program with program supplies, publicity materials, t-shirts, and staff instruction time for two Naturalist Interns that facilitate the program.

St. Croix River Association           St. Croix River Association 

The Museum has received significant funds from the St. Croix River Association for the past few summers. In connection with the National Park Service Rangers on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, the Museum lead canoe trips for youth entering grades six through nine.

The National Park Service (NPS) provided camping gear. In addition, they provided a NPS Ranger to paddle with the students, and to conduct a campfire program with the students.

The Museum recruited students from the Drummond Area School District and the Hayward Community School District, including the Northern Waters Environmental Charter School within the Hayward Community School District.


  • Students participated in outdoor physical activity that allowed them to experience a local National Scenic Riverway.
  • Students learned at least one new skill related to wilderness camping and canoe travel.
  • Students challenged themselves physically.
  • Most students expressed an interest in repeating the activity for a longer duration or with some other added challenge.
  • Students learned something new about the Namekagon River, the National Scenic Riverway, and the importance of protecting water quality.
  • Students participated in cooking at least one healthy wilderness meal
  • Students burned roughly 413 calories per hour while canoeing for at least four hours per day at a moderate pace, for a total of 1,652 calories burned per day just while canoeing. Source:
  • Students practiced a set of skills and develop familiarity with outdoor activities that prepare them up for a lifetime of healthy physical activity in the outdoors.
Jack gives a thumbs up for canoeing!

Jack gives a thumbs up for canoeing!

Past Grant Support

IMLS Grant

IMLS-Grant-Logo-smallThe Cable Natural History Museum’s Collection Advancement Initiative, funded by a $57,000 federal matching grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services(IMLS), will enable the digitizing of the entire catalogue of the Museum’s collections, which includes vertebrates, invertebrates, a large herbarium and a modest geology/paleontology collection. In addition, the collection will be made accessible to interested parties via the Museum’s website


As a result of the Collection Advancement Initiative, Cable Natural History Museum audiences will be better informed regarding important environmental issues. Improved access to collections will help to increase Museum attendance and heighten member satisfaction. With increased awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship will come better understanding of the need for a workable and sustainable balance of land and water use by industry and recreation to sustain this region’s quality of life.

The Museum must compensate for limited permanent exhibition space by providing public digital access to collections via the website. Expedited collections access will help strengthen school programs, and facilitate improved environmental education programs for permanent and seasonal residents.

To achieve the goal of this project, CNHM will:

  • Acquire PastPerfect, a museum collections management database, up-graded to include “virtual exhibit” and enhanced media modules to transfer data from typed or hand-written accession records to a useable, accessible digital database
  • Purchase a digital camera and equipment to record visual images of all specimens
  • Obtain twelve moveable display units to permit frequent rotation of objects from the permanent collection that have not been available to the public for several years
  • Procure and install two computerized information kiosks to provide on-line access to the collection database from within the Museum
  • Create and install interpretive signage to assist Museum visitors to better understand the importance of collections to the scientific community and the public.
  • Retro-fit the collections room doors with safety glass panels to allow Museum visitors to view some specimens in the collection when naturalist or docents are not available for guided tours
  • Provide professional development in collections management for the staff Naturalist
  • Recruit, train, and supervise interns to assist in cataloging, photography and website preparation

Collections-049The generous support of IMLS will help Cable Natural History Museum fulfill its Mission to our community: Connecting people to Northwoods nature through educational experiences that inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility.

C.D. Besadny Conservation GrantBesadny Foundation

The $1,000 C. D. Besadny grant was given to the Museum to develop  a website to accompany the Cable Natural History Museum’s (CNHM) annual exhibit. CNHM’s 2016-17 exhibit theme will teach the public about seasonal phenology.  This interactive phenology component added to our website will allow  Museum staff and the public can post phenological observations. In addition, the grant will also support conservation programming and citizen science initiatives which will be completed in conjunction with the exhibit’s phenology theme. This grant will help visitors and residents to apply their knowledge and become stewards of our area and the local environment through multiple forms of exposure to phenology models.

Elsa Hansen Receives the Besadny Grant

Elsa Hansen Receives the Besadny Grant

Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation Four Cedars Environmental FundDSACF

The Museum received $2,000 from the Four Cedars Environmental Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation to fund the training of Museum staff in the care and management of captive education raptors.

During October 2015, our Naturalist Curator and Collections Assistant attended the Care and Management of Captive Raptors Training, sponsored by the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. The four day workshop oriented bird managers to the details of caring for the maintaining captive raptors for educational purposes.  Training included ways to enhance the Museum’s message through live education animals, raptor anatomy and physiology, basic raptor medical care, behavioral training techniques for education birds, raptor handling and training demonstration for education raptors.