A retired administrator and educator for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has recently donated 14 acres of property in northeast Portage County to the UWSP Foundation for education and research.
Burdette Eagon donated the land located four miles north of the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station. The station hosts programs that focus on educating adults and youth on the important balance between the environment and the community.
The land will be used by undergraduate students researching stream studies on Flume Creek and those participating in wildlife observation. It will also be available to children attending school field trips and day camps.
“This wonderful gift of land is just one more demonstration of a lifetime of dedication by Bud and Sarah Eagon and their family to the ideals of education at UWSP,” said Christine Thomas, dean of the College of Natural Resources. “Thousands of school children each year will benefit from lessons on this beautiful property under the careful guidance of UWSP students, faculty and staff of the CWES. The CNR is grateful to the Eagons for this opportunity.”
Students are equally excited about this chance to expand their knowledge of the greater Portage County area.
“I think it was a wonderful and selfless gift Eagon gave,” said communication major Marissa Mahnke.” Students here are all very focused on what we can do to give back to the environment. Having access to all of that land and water will help us do that.”
CWES director Scott Johnson said the land will be incredibly beneficial to the students using the facility. With the frontage on Flume Creek, students will have access to a Class 1 trout stream that flows into the Little Wolf River.
“People do not understand how exciting this is for a land use planning major and for any type of natural resource major, in fact,” said junior Sydney Swan. “To have another nature reserve to study and research will create a really intriguing learning environment for us.”
The land was named in honor of Eagon and his wife, who passed away in 2000. Before it was the Burdette and Sarah Eagon Nature Education Preserve, the land was considered an oasis for the Eagon family. For 30 years, the Eagons would hike through the land admiring the abundant amount of trees and flowers, showing their seven children the importance of nature.
“My children have always been so impressed with the services that UWSP offers, and I thought they would put the most use to the land,” Eagon said. “It is good to get outside and see what you find.”
Eagon served as vice chancellor of academic affairs for the university’s School of Education. After 33 years of service, Eagon retired in 1984. Aside from his numerous accomplishments serving on the administration board, Eagon also created and implemented the Native American Center at UWSP in 1978.
“Bud and Sarah have been wonderful supporters of UWSP for many years, and this land donation is an outstanding example of their lifelong commitment to education,” said Chancellor Bernie Patterson. “We are grateful for this generous gift and pleased to continue the Eagon legacy at this nature preserve.”