About- Green-Rock Audubon Society
Green-Rock Audubon Society, Inc. was incorporated in 1991 as a Section 501 C (3) non-profit corporation and is a local chapter of the National Audubon Society. Between 2000 and 2004 we acquired a conservation easement and 250 acres of land so we are a land trust. In 2007 we began aggressively restoring our property.
President: Joni Denker
Joni has a BS in Environmental Geology with a minor in Biology from Beloit College and lives in Janesville with her kids Amber and Christopher, and their two adopted cats, Mayflower and Junebug. She works for the Rockford Park District as their Conservation Supervisor, overseeing their 1,500+ natural areas.
Joni is an Iraq war veteran having served with the 124th Signal Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Inf Div out of Ft. Hood, TX.
Joni's life long passion for nature started as a childhood curiosity which turned into a hobby of photography and bird watching. Having found the Green-Rock Audubon Society while looking for areas to bird in Rock County she found her passion for natural areas restoration while volunteering with Victor in 2012. If she's not hiking with her kids and teaching them about all of the plants, insects, and birds they see you can find her attempting to photograph all of the flowering plants at Searls Nature Preserve in Rockford.
Past President: Neil Deupree,
Vice-President: Sharon K. Bishop
I grew up on a small farm outside of Stoughton, WI. This included working with many kinds of animals, in tobacco fields and haying. I have an Associate Degree in Accounting from then Madison Area Technical College. I retired from the Boy Scouts of America after 20 years of accounting. I saved money since high school and starting in my thirties traveling the United States then the world. Walked the Great Wall of China and kissed the Blarney Stone and much more. I have volunteered at nursing homes and with seniors for senior programs. I have spent countless hours in the great outdoors which I love and am passionate about protecting it for our wildlife along with the native greenery so future generations can enjoy it like I have.
Land Manager: Victor Illichmann
Victor has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from U-W-Whitewater.
Until 1963 he did farm work in Langlade County and was self-employed working in the woods, pulping, logging, and harvesting and shearing Christmas trees. From 1963 until 1999 Victor taught in three school systems, mostly in Evansville, until he retired in 1999. For many years before retirement he taught science to fifth graders.
Victor was interested in flora even as a toddler. Over time this also became an intense interest in the environment and environmental issues. He currently has a 2 acre restored prairie and a 1 acre mini-arboretum. This arboretum especially is devoted to spring ephemerals in a heavily
Assistant Land Manager: Art Burns
Art grew up in Rock County and has served in both the Marine Corps and the Navy. He graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation. After a twenty-seven year career as a deck officer in the Merchant Marine, Art retired in rural Rock County. He keeps busy as a volunteer at the VA hospital in Madison, Service Officer for American Legion Post 209 in Orfordville and maintaining wildlife habitat with his wife Grace on their property.
Sunny Peace Prairie Project Manager: Norm Aulabaugh
Norm has a BS and MS degree in Management from Northern Illinois University. Norm received a commission in the U.S. Navy in 1969 and served as S-7 division officer on the aircraft carrier, USS Independence until 1973.
Norm was the Director of Management Information Systems at the Parker Pen Company in Janesville for many years, and later worked at SSI Technologies in Janesville as their Materials and Manufacturing Manager and in Information Systems.
Norm and his wife Carol were instrumental in establishing a Friends Group at Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin. Norm wrote a book about Peninsula State Park which is now in its second printing.
Norm is the Project Manager for the Sunny Peace Prairie, the seventy-five acre parcel of land Norm and his wife Carol donated to the Green-Rock Audubon Society in 2018. The restoration or this property is simply a chore to be completed. The real work to be done is to make this preserve a valuable learning and recreational resource to be used by the public
Director: John Patterson
Director: Fred Faessler
Facebook Editor: Grace Burns
Membership Chair: Steve Reischel
Steve grew up on a dairy farm in west-central Wisconsin. The amount of work and responsibility on the farm limited his world to a small patch of land and a few towns and cities in the surrounding area. After graduating high school, he went to a technical college and got a degree in electronics technology. He worked for a few years repairing business machines before taking an information technology job at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and moving his wife and stepchildren to Evansville. Working at the university broadened his world physically and culturally. Life on the farm had given him an appreciation for the natural world and he always had a strong interest in science. Although he wasn’t able to pursue a career in science, he merged the interests of nature and science and began to study birds. Through volunteer work at a bird banding station he learned how to band birds and quickly earned a banding permit. He joined Green-Rock Audubon Society about this same time and shortly thereafter was recruited to serve on the Board of Directors.
Having met several people who traveled internationally, Steve began to travel as well, further expanding his world. Over the years he has traveled to a number of countries in Central and South America, and the Caribbean. He developed an interest in photography and uses the opportunity of these trips to document the variety of bird species and the incredible scenery encountered while traveling. Occasionally he gives presentations about the places he has traveled and the people he’s met. Nearly every weekend during bird migration you’ll find him banding birds and educating visitors to the bird banding station about birds and nature.
Advocacy: Susan Johnson