Leroy Koster is Committed to the Conservation Mission of Ducks Unlimited
SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb., Feb. 3, 2006 – Last year, Leroy Koster drove more than 10,000 miles across the Midwest to share his views on the conservation mission of Ducks Unlimited. His efforts paid off when his fundraising chapter became No. 1 in Nebraska.
“People think I get paid to do this work to raise money for DU, but I tell them, it’s all on me,” Koster said. “I like it and that’s why I do it.”
Koster, who has been a member of DU since the 1970s, believes that if you are “honest with people and tell them what their dollars are being used for, they’re willing to give.”
A mechanic his entire life, he makes sure he tailors his conservation message to each individual. “I am an outdoors person, and when people say, ‘I am not a duck hunter,’ I tell them I am not a duck hunter either. You don’t have to be a duck hunter to volunteer or to give to DU.”
|DU Volunteer Leroy Koster|
In 1987, the Northeast Nebraska Sportsman’s Club, of which Koster was a member, started a chapter in South Sioux City, and by the end of the first year, it had 45 sponsors, 75 percent of whom don’t hunt ducks.
Koster and his son have an auto repair shop that he started in 1978. In the early 60s and 70s, he raced in the local NASCAR circuit.
“Why should people join DU? If you are a conservation person who wants to see the habitat come back the way it used to be, I tell them that $250 will save an acre of habitat,” Koster said. “Some places cost a lot more. Our land prices skyrocketed last year.”
Koster says that if you are dedicated to the outdoors and keeping the environment safe, you need to get involved in DU. He says you have to be dedicated. “It’s like a second job, but, you’ll meet some of the best friends in the world.”
In honor of DU volunteer Week, Jan. 30-Feb. 4, Ducks Unlimited is sharing stories about some of the terrific volunteers who support DU throughout the country.
Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people. With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands—nature’s most productive ecosystem—and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year.