The Lemur Conservation Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016 by launching a 3-year $2.2 million campaign. “Leap for Lemurs” surpassed its goal by $50,000 at its conclusion in December 2018 and great progress is being made toward a campus expansion. This month, LCF’s Scientific Advisory Council and Board of Directors convened for annual fall meetings at the reserve. All were invited to “step inside” the site of a third lemur shelter, funded by the campaign. Groundbreaking is expected to take place soon.
At the campaign kick-off, Dr. Alison Grand, LCF Executive Director, unveiled four top priorities:
- Increase much-needed forest habitats
- Provide a new lemur shelter
- Build an on-site maintenance shop
- Underwrite expanding operational costs
In June 2019, after many months of preparation and patiently waiting for the weather to cooperate, we were thrilled to release ring-tailed lemurs into the Elizabeth Moore Lemur Forest Habitat. Elizabeth opened the door of the Mackarness Goode Lemur Aerial Trail, connecting to the Marilyn North lemur shelter, and the group leaped into their new surroundings amidst clapping and cheering.
Mackarness “Mack” Goode, husband of LCF Founder Penelope Bodry-Sanders, contributed greatly to the success of “Leap for Lemurs” by lending his fundraising expertise from its inception to its completion. In appreciation, LCF named a lemur aerial trail in honor of his leadership and guidance. Mack’s trail is one of several that provide the reserve’s lemurs with access to their protected free-ranging forests, where researchers and students study their natural behavior. Expansion plans include the construction of additional trails.
LCF is very grateful to trustee Judy Rasmusson for funding the new on-site maintenance shop, which was constructed in early 2019. This modern facility houses and protects the equipment needed to maintain the 130-acre reserve and its lemur forest habitats, and provides a work space for carpentry and other valued and necessary work to provide the best care for LCF’s colony. With thanks to Emily H. Fisher for her generous support, a full-time reserve manager lives on-site to care for the property in a cottage named for her.
Much work remains, and we look forward to providing more updates. We wish to express our immense gratitude to everyone who gave so generously to make possible our much-needed reserve expansion. It is our pleasure to recognize the following donors for their significant support.
John Alexander & Emily H. Fisher
Penelope Bodry-Sanders & Mackarness Goode
County Oaks Enterprises
Florida Native Plant Society
John Freeman & Dr. Jennifer Swanson
Diane A. Ledder
Kathleen & James Miller
Patrice & Ron Pantello
Scott D. Riviere
Sara Roberts Foundation
Dr. Jessie Williams
Charlene & Phillip Wolff