Jim Haring spent his life dedicated to nature conservation. As a member of the Clinton County Conservation and Foundation Boards, he strove to be a good public steward of the natural resources that surrounded his home and worked to instill that same value in younger generations.
Before he passed away in 2018, he worked with his friend Marty Murrell and the LincolnWay Community Foundation to establish an endowment fund that would help provide Clinton County residents with opportunities to enjoy, learn about and preserve the natural landscape around them. By planning a charitable contribution from his estate, Haring established the Clinton County Conservation Foundation Endowment Fund, which Murrell says helps his friend’s legacy live on.
“This fund is in Jim’s honor and memory,” says Murrell, who got to know Haring through their volunteer efforts. “Because it is an endowment, it will pay out annually — forever — to support the causes Jim was most passionate about.”
Haring specifically wanted to ensure that payouts from the endowment would support hands-on, real world experiences, Murrell adds. For example, he says, it could help fund nature displays and outdoor equipment for our naturalists to use in educational teaching and conservation programming.
“This endowment enhances Jim’s love of nature and maintains the area for the future for all citizens,” says Pat Henricksen, executive director of the LincolnWay Community Foundation. “The mission of the LincolnWay foundation is to build communities, and this fund helps do just that by ensuring Clinton County residents and visitors can experience and enjoy the place where we all live.”
Beyond its payouts, the conservation fund will also serve as a way for people to remember Haring, who Clinton County residents knew as a generous and friendly presence in the community, Murrell says.
Not only was Haring instrumental in bringing amenities like the Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center to the county, he also received numerous honors for his volunteerism in helping teach people about nature and conservation.
“He was passionate about conservation education, especially when it came to children,” Murrell says. “He taught it to his daughters, they taught it to their children, and he was instrumental in teaching conservation to thousands of children in Clinton County and nationwide.
“That’s the kind of mark Jim left on people, whether you knew him or not.”