Winnebago Audubon Society logo

The Winnebago Audubon Society's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the Earth's biological diversity.

We serve Winnebago County and the Fox Valley region of Wisconsin. We're one of over 500 local chapters of the National Audubon Society, including 14 chapters in Wisconsin.

See Winnebago Audubon members on Search "It's Your Environment"

See "Issues" page for

Katherine D. Rill Environmental Award

and other Awards Frank Zuern,



Frank Zuern, longtime chapter member, was an inspiration to many and a zealous advocate for the environment

We thank Frank and his family for suggesting Winnebago Audubon as a recipient of memorials in his name. Memorials to Frank may be made by mail and checks made payable to: Winnebago Audubon, PO Box 184, Oshkosh, WI 54903.  Thank you.

    Frank A Zuern, age 90 of Oshkosh, passed away on Monday, August 21, 2017 at Lake Pointe Villa with family by his side. He was born on July 1, 1927 in Pembine, WI the son of the late Arthur and Clara (Wenk) Zuern. Frank grew up on the farm and spent his boyhood exploring their woods and fields, where he developed his deep love of nature. Frank attended a one-room schoolhouse, and from there he went on to Pembine High School graduating as Valedictorian Class of 1945. At 17, he enlisted and proudly served our country in the Coast Guard where he had a chance to see the world. Frank later went to school on the GI Bill and received both his undergraduate and Master's Degree from UW-Madison for education. He taught school in Dunbar, Lake Geneva, Madison and then moved to Oshkosh where he continued with the career he loved, teaching children. He was a teacher and principal at Oaklawn, Winnebago, Smith, Green Meadow and Washington Elementary schools for 38 years. He also served as the Director of Outdoor Education for Oshkosh Public Schools and was very proud of his involvement in the acquisition of Sullivan's Woods Nature Area.

     Frank had many interests, most of which revolved around nature and the environment. He designed The Tree Branch Bluebird House and maintained bluebird houses and trails throughout the state. He was very proud of his help with the resurgence of the bluebirds here in the state. Some organizations he was involved in and favorite hobbies include: Audubon Society, Winnebago County Conservation Club, Sons of Norway, volunteer guide for hundreds of field trips to Sullivan's Woods, a skilled wood carver of all types of birds. He was a passionate crusader for all of God's creatures and creations. Frank was a member of First English Lutheran Church for 62 years and loved to sing in the church choir, often inventing his own tune. He had a love of music and even learned how to play the violin when he was 80 years old!

    Frank was united in marriage to Jane Bach at Porterfield Lutheran Church on August 26, 1950 and was very proud to say he had been married for 67 years! He was a loving husband and devoted father. He relished his role as grandpa and spent the last 33 years telling stories and sharing his love for the environment with all of them. He was a poet, an artist and prolific writer, and just finished publishing his first book, in May, about his adventures growing up as a farmboy in the North Woods. He was compassionate and caring and never afraid to take on a challenge.

     Frank is survived by his beloved wife, Jane, three daughters: Julie (John) Kita, Connie (Steve) Seidl, Laurie (Dean) Jenson; seven grandchildren: Kevin, Alex and Kyle Kita, Benjamin and Elizabeth Seidl, Trevor and Audra Jenson; further survived by two brothers-in-law. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Harry (Harriet) Zuern.

     Funeral Services will take place at 11:00 am on Friday, August 25, 2017 at First English Lutheran Church, 1013 Minnesota Street, with Pastor Tim Greenwald Officiating. Visitation for friends and family will be at the church from 9:30 am until the time of service. Interment will take place at Ellenwood Cemetery, Oshkosh.

     In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Pembine High School Scholarship Foundation or Winnebago Audubon Society would meet Frank's approval.

     The Family would like to thank all of the wonderful care he received during the past three years from his doctors, caregivers and friends who were compassionate and always went the extra mile. A special thank you to Jenny who brought the world to him as he began to show his age.



At Oshkosh Bird Fest on May 7, 2011, the new Bird City Wisconsin flag was hoisted up the flag pole in the Menominee Park Zoo.  From left to right:  Jan Scalpone, Sustainability Advisory Board; Steve Cummings, City Council; Bill Sturm, City Forester; and Janet Wissink, Winnebago Audubon and Oshkosh Bird Fest Committee Chair.


December 9, 2010:

Winnebago Audubon in partnership with

Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity

receives TogetherGreen Innovation Grant!




TogetherGreen Innovation Grant Press Release

TogetherGreen National Press Release


Project Title:

Landfill Conservation through Wood Waste Recycling

Planning Grant Amount:  $5,000


Organizations involved in project:

Winnebago Audubon Society,

Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity,



 Today, most people in the U.S. understand that products made of paper, glass, and some plastics can be recycled rather than being tossed into the trash (and, ultimately, into a landfill or incinerator). However, despite the progress we’ve made in recycling, landfills still make up a significant part of our landscape. And things like wood, which you might think could be recycled, account for nearly 20 percent of municipal waste.


With their TogetherGreen planning grant, Winnebago Audubon Society is working to change that. Through a partnership with the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity, Winnebago Audubon Society will work to plan and implement a model community wood waste recycling effort and significantly reduce unnecessary disposal at local landfills. Over the next year, partners will complete a feasibility study with a summary business plan that includes a detailed description of possible funding sources and a list of for profit and nonprofit organizations committed to helping with this project over the long term.


Ultimately, wood waste retrieved from construction and demolition sites could be made into mulch and other products – preventing new trees from being felled to create the same products. And when wood products decompose in landfills, they create methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. So diverting wood from the waste stream has another benefit: reducing our impact on climate. It’s a win:win situation!

TogetherGreen grantees from across the country gathered for a 3 day workshop Nov. 7-10, 2010, at the USFWS National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.   Janet Wissink attended the training session (second row with the sunglasses).