May 18, 2018. The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH announces a $635,000 gift from the estate of Robert Wescott Durant. Mr. Durant, who lived in Lancaster, NH since 1969, was a teacher, avid outdoorsman, naturalist, writer and accomplished wildlife photographer.
His very generous gift will be used to support youth educational programs over the next ten years, providing opportunities for children in New Hampshire to understand and appreciate the interdependence of all species and the need for their conservation and the stewardship of our natural world. Educating our next generation was vitally important to Mr. Durant, who said “Children need to be educated on how important nature is in their lives”.
The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH will use the gift to provide grants to the NH Fish and Game Department each year for programs targeted to educating children about the joys of our great outdoors. Initial grants totaling $48,250 have recently been awarded by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH for ten youth educational projects at NH Fish and Game. This year’s grants include a Creature Feature exhibit at Great Bay Discovery Center, updates and repairs to the Discovery Room at Fish and Game Headquarters, a Wildlife Viewing Area Kiosk to Dixville Notch, Schoolyard Wildlife Action Grants, Wild Times for Kids publication, Wonders of Wildlife Program, Wildlife Education Curriculum Kits, Project WILD, and a Winter Severity Index Data Collection Program in schools.
Mr. Durant’s diaries, photographs, books and sketches will be used to further the education and enjoyment of fellow nature enthusiasts. An expert trout angler, Robert Durant frequented the Isreal’s River in Lancaster, a special place where he became enchanted with the many plants, animals and insects that inhabited the river and its banks. For 30 years, in all weather, he made a daily walk of a two mile stretch along the river near his home, recording field notes and taking photographs all the living things that called the river their home. A video of one of his walks can be found on You Tube/Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH. He was also a contributing writer for local area newspapers, and published five photographic books on the Lancaster area and its beautiful remote wilderness.
Before passing away in July of 2016, Robert Durant also gifted a 10-acre parcel of land in Jefferson, NH to the NH Fish and Game Department. Designated as the Robert Durant Natural Area, it provides unlimited access for anglers, wildlife watchers and people of all ages at the convergence of Isreal’s River and Stalbird Brook.
The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH is grateful for such an important legacy gift, furthering its mission of preserving the wild places and wild things of New Hampshire for future generations.