Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center
10 Deerfield Ln
Ansonia CT 06401
Contact Information
Address 10 Deerfield Ln
Ansonia, CT 06401-
Telephone (203) 736-1053 x
Fax 203-734-1672
E-mail friendsanci@gmail.com
Web and Social Media
Mission
The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc., (FANCI) is a non-profit organization that was incorporated in 1993. The mission of FANCI is to support the staff, programs, and the missions of the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center (ANRC), and the Redwing Pond House Preschool (RWPH). Our group is sustained by a dedicated group of volunteers and members. The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center seek to collaborate with the staff of the Ansonia Nature Center in order to ensure the park's long term success by raising tax-deductible support and providing a variety of volunteer services. We strive to promote an ecologically-minded citizenry in the City of Ansonia and the surrounding communities of the Lower Naugatuck River Valley and beyond.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1993
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Alison Rubelmann
Board Chair Mr. Peter Tuccio
Board Chair Company Affiliation William Raveis Real Estate and Northeast Building Supply
Financial Summary
 
Projected Revenue $141,900.00
Projected Expenses $138,457.00
Statements
Mission The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc., (FANCI) is a non-profit organization that was incorporated in 1993. The mission of FANCI is to support the staff, programs, and the missions of the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center (ANRC), and the Redwing Pond House Preschool (RWPH). Our group is sustained by a dedicated group of volunteers and members. The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center seek to collaborate with the staff of the Ansonia Nature Center in order to ensure the park's long term success by raising tax-deductible support and providing a variety of volunteer services. We strive to promote an ecologically-minded citizenry in the City of Ansonia and the surrounding communities of the Lower Naugatuck River Valley and beyond.
Background
Incorporated in 1993, The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center Inc., (FANCI) is a group  of concerned local residents who take an active role in promoting and supporting the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center (ANRC) and Redwing Pond House Preschool (RWPH).  It is a grass roots organization that represents the Lower Naugatuck River Valley and its surrounding communities. FANCI facilitates the park's long term success by raising contributed funds and providing a variety of volunteer services. FANCI is proud to have opened a nature-based preschool, the Redwing Pond House Preschool, on the grounds of the Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center. The Redwing Pond House Preschool provides a unique hands-on learning experience and encourages life-long appreciation for the natural world. 
Impact
Accomplishments from the past year include:
Redwing Pond House Preschool (successful fully-enrolled nature-based preschool program)
Autumn Festival (October 2016)
Maple Festival (March 2015)
Earth Day Celebration (April 2017)
New Nature Center Playground (Summer 2016)
 
The top three goals of 2016/2017 are: (1) to operate the RWPH at full capacity (with full and half-day options for 2, 3, and 5-days per week); (2) to start a scholarship fund program to offer financial assistance to area families that would like to attend the RWPH but cannot afford tuition; and (3) to continue to raise funds to assist the ANRC in continuing with much needed renovations to the Ansonia Nature Center building and to make the new playground area ADA compliant.
Needs

The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center supports both the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center along with the Redwing Pond House Preschool. While our organizations have many wants and needs, our top priorities are:

  1. Continued enhancement of all the playgrounds and equipment for both the Nature Center and Preschool. The original Ansonia Home Grown Playground built in the nineties and was completely replaced last summer. This is a major area where families come to play, and meet other children. The Redwing Pond House Preschool playground needs new low tables and benches for the children to be able to work and build on, a new area for climbing, shading such as an awning made of natural materials, and pea gravel to replenish the play surface and walkways.

  2. Install Fencing around the Ansonia Community Organic Garden located on the Nature Center property.

  3. Install fishing piers and additional boardwalks around the pond for easier access by the Redwing Pond House Preschool and community.

  4. Update exhibits and purchase displays both inside and out to include STEM supplies such as simple machines, pulleys, magnets, ramps, and waterwheels.

  5. Purchase new gardening supplies to include spades, wheelbarrows, shovel, rakes, mulch, and weed whacker.
CEO Statement
Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center ("ANRC") -- Our mission at the ANRC is to foster an ethic of environmental stewardship that will connect our communities to the natural world of the Lower Naugatuck River Valley and balance the demand for recreation with the need for conservation.
 
Not every community is lucky enough to have a river running through it. The small city of Ansonia, which was once part of Derby, has a long history of using the water power available from the Naugatuck River, and after the industrial revolution, abusing this beautiful natural resource. With pollution from factories and households, the river served as a convenient place to pipe our wastes. Today the river provides fishing and kayaking opportunities, and a home to Connecticut's native wildlife. No one would have dreamed of these activities on the Naugatuck river forty years ago, much less a river walk to bring people closer to the river again.
 
Environmental laws, education and awareness made the resurrection of the Naugatuck River possible.  The “Naugy’s” success story is a good example of the many battles environmentalists have waged and won to improve our Valley’s quality of life for both humans and wildlife. To that end, the ANRC has been providiing nature and recreation programs since 1977.  I have been privileged and proud to have worked at the ANRC since 1998. 
 
A survey conducted by the School Readiness program in Ansonia, with a cross section of respondents in Ansonia ranked the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center at the top of list of the city’s assets. An active and dedicated Friends group, FANCI, contributes significantly to our success and is a boon to a small, but gifted staff that provides wonderful and varied public programming year- round. For more than thirty years, the City of Ansonia has supported and witnessed the growth of nature-lovers. Our park host organic gardeners, provides forests, meadows, ponds and the Great Milan Swamp in it’s 150 acres, generating excitement in young visitors, instills empathy for wild creatures for all ages, and most importantly, provides a place to re-connect to the natural world for young and old.
 
Alison Rubelmann
Director Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center
Board Chair Statement

I was introduced to the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center ("ANRC") at a very young age. Living at the entrance to what is now the park, I have seen the evolution of the Schreiber Dairy Farm go from herds of cows to a thriving learning center shaping the minds of our youth to appreciate nature and our planet. Many of the fields that I would walk with my father as a child are still used today by the ANRC. While I no longer wake up to that farm smell and hear the sound of cows in the pasture, I have the ability to wake to children playing, watch a soccer game, or sit in on an informative lecture. It was this transformation that led me to get involved with FANCI. I have not looked back since. I am glad I have the ability to work with so many talented people to provide the support needed to aid the continuance of the ANRC and look forward to supporting their needs for many years to come.

Peter Tuccio
President, Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. ("FANCI")

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Environment / Environmental Education
Secondary Organization Category Animal Related / Wildlife Preservation & Protection
Areas Served
Ansonia
Bethany
Derby
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Milford
New Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
West Haven
State wide
Wallingford
The geographic areas served by the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center and Redwing Pond House Preschool reaches many residents in the Lower Naugatuck River Valley watershed include the towns of Ansonia, Derby, Shelton, Seymour, Bethany, Woodbridge, Bethany, Oxford and Naugatuck. Other area towns that we serve are Milford, Hamden, Orange, New Haven, West Haven, Waterbury, Cheshire and Prospect.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center (FANCI) works closely with the Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center (ANRC) and oversees the Redwing Pond House Preschool (RWPH). The ANRC is a municipal park, but depends on contributions from FANCI to maintain its programs and services. FANCI collaborates with the management and staff of the ANRC. In order to complement and support the environmental mission of the ANRC, FANCI opened a high-quality nature-based preschool located on the property of the ANRC. FANCI is the governing board of the RWPH, and the preschool and nature center staff work together to support the missions of both entities.
Programs
Description
 The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. (FANCI) have  opened the Redwing Pond House Preschool located at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center, as a self-sustaining nature-based preschool in January 2012. The Redwing Pond House Preschool provides a warm and nurturing learning environment that offers diverse natural habitats, outstanding teachers and unique hands-on learning opportunities that build solid foundations for future school experiences.

The preschool program is operated by FANCI as a licensed, preschool for children aged three to five. The children are enrolled annually on the school-year calendar, and attend half-day or full-day classes for two, three, or five days per week. The Redwing Pond House Preschool is a unique option for local families, as there are no similar nature-based preschools in this region.

Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) / Families /
Description
The animals at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center serve as ambassadors for their species, here for the purpose of teaching about the natural world. The cost of caring for wildlife and adopted animals is considerable. All of the animals at the Nature Center need specialized diets, daily care, and creature comforts. You can help to provide food, health care and housing for the animals – for your favorite feathered, scaly or furry species through Sponsor a Species.
Population Served Adults / Families /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals No
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
Short-term achievements of the animal care program will include new updated housing for animals, and improving the overall welfare of the animals via housing, diet, vet care. Results from this program will help us educate the public about conservation needs and animal husbandry.
 
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Ultimate changes resulting from the Animal Care program will include: attracting new visitors, members, potential donors, and volunteers to help with our conservation efforts; updating animal exhibits, and encouraging environmental stewardship and education.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. The Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center's annual report monitors its success by tracking the number of educational programs for camp, school classes, family and adult programs, and outreach. Also, the nature center monitors its facility use (meetings for adults and children and picnic pavilion rentals). Animal care program monitors telephone inquiries and assists for domestic animal concerns as well as any wildlife animals presented. Volunteer services are tracked by a log book and all hours are compiled for adults and youth. In-kind services provided by the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center are tracked to the Ansonia Board of Education.
Description
The first Saturday in March we have our annual Maple Festival with the Friends of Ansonia Nature Center and Nature Center staff.   It is a fun festival with a pancake breakfast, crafts, face painting and bake sale.  All proceeds are used benefit the Animal Fund at the Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center.
Population Served Families / Adults / Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals No
Description
For over 30 years on the last Saturday in April  we have had our annual Earth Day Festival.  This day brings together families and friends for an activity packed day for nature lovers.  We have environmental and wildlife exhibits, interpretive walks, nature vendors, kids crafts, food and music.  This is the day that we celebrate mother earth
Population Served Families / Adults / Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Description
Autumn festival is an Ansonia Nature and Recreation Center event that occurs on the first Saturday in October. Activities include decorating pumpkins, horse drawn hay rides and storytelling, live spooky animals (bats, spiders and owls), music, donut eating contest, food, cider and donuts 

             

Population Served Families / Adults / Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Program Comments
CEO Comments
The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center (FANCI) works closely with the Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center (ANRC) and oversees the Redwing Pond House Preschool (RWPH). The ANRC is a municipal park, but depends on contributions from FANCI to maintain its programs and services. FANCI collaborates with the management and staff of the ANRC. In order to complement and support the environmental mission of the ANRC, FANCI opened a high-quality nature-based preschool located on the property of the ANRC. FANCI is the governing board of the RWPH, and the preschool and nature center staff work together to support the missions of both entities.
 
Challenges: Our primary challenge right now is to update and revitalize the ANRC's building, parking lot, exhibits, playground, and pond.  A second challenge is to provide scholarships for Ansonia and residents in the Lower Naugatuck Valley to attend the RWPH and ANRC Nature Days Camp programs if finances do not allow them to attend. 
 
Opportunities:
  • Continue to support the RWPH and ANRC’s missions through continuing to improve the preschool program and supporting a variety of educational program offerings at the ANRC.
  • Apply for funding to augment a scholarship fund.
  • Apply for funding to begin the process of renovating the ANRC visitor center building and outdoor structures.
CEO/Executive Director
Alison Rubelmann
Term Start Jan 2014
Email arubelmann@ansoniact.org
Experience Alison Rubelmann has been the Director of the Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center since 2014, and is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. She worked at the nature center from 1998 to 2014 as the Assistant Director. She holds an Associate Degree in Applied Science and a B.S. in Biology, and has worked in the environmental field for over 20 years. Her dedication is to create a lifelong connection to nature.
Co-CEO
Jacqueline Lema
Term Start Jan 2012
Email directorrwph@yahoo.com
Experience
Jacqueline Lema is the Director and Head Teacher of the Redwing Pond House Preschool, and reports to the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center, Inc. Jacqueline has always been inspired by the enthusiasm, curiosity, and natural inquisitiveness of young children, and has spent over 20 years working with preschoolers and their families. She holds a degree in Education as well as a Connecticut Director's Credential and a Head Teacher Certificate granted by the State of Connecticut.
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 4
Number of Volunteers 80
Staff Retention Rate 75%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
NameTerm
Donna Lindgren 1984 - 2014
Senior Staff
Title Assistant Director, Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center
Collaborations
The Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center participates in collaborations with many organizations, including: Naugatuck River Revival Group, DEEP Kellogg Environmental Center, Connecticut Audubon, Northeast Organic Farmers Association, Massaro Community Farms, Valley United Way, and Ansonia Board of Education.
Comments
CEO Comments
The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center (FANCI) does not have an Executive Director. FANCI works closely with the Director of the Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center (ANRC) – listed as CEO; FANCI oversees the Director of the Redwing Pond House Preschool (RWPH) – listed as Co-CEO. The ANRC is a municipal park, but depends on contributions from FANCI to maintain its programs and services. FANCI collaborates with the management and staff of the ANRC. In order to complement and support the environmental mission of the ANRC, FANCI opened a high-quality nature-based preschool located on the property of the ANRC. FANCI is the governing board of the RWPH, and the preschool and nature center staff work together to support the missions of both entities.
 
The strategic plan, senior staff and management information, collaborations, and government licenses listed in this section are those of the ANRC. FANCI supports these ANRC strategies, staff, and programs.
Board Chair
Mr. Peter Tuccio
Company Affiliation William Raveis Real Estate and Northeast Building Supply
Term July 2016 to June 2018
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Theresa Andriulli Community Volunteer
Joan Bettencourt Community Volunteer
Katherine Gambacini Kelly Educational Services
Donna Lindgren Community Volunteer
Jason Meyenburg
Alison Rubelmann Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center
Wendy Sabol Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center
Adam Schaefer Tradewind Aviation
Allison Schaefer Community Volunteer
Pauline Sholtys Community Volunteer
Anne Smith Community Volunteer
Richard Wade Community Volunteer
Viola Waldo West Haven Community House Head Start
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 11
CEO Comments
The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center (FANCI) works closely with the Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center (ANRC) and oversees the Redwing Pond House Preschool (RWPH). The ANRC is a municipal park, but depends on contributions from FANCI to maintain its programs and services. FANCI collaborates with the management and staff of the ANRC. In order to complement and support the environmental mission of the ANRC, FANCI opened a high-quality nature-based preschool located on the property of the ANRC. FANCI is the governing board of the RWPH, and the preschool and nature center staff work together to support the missions of both entities.
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30 2017
Projected Revenue $141,900.00
Projected Expenses $138,457.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$30,906$32,608$29,916
Administration Expense$83,076$79,992$66,444
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.431.050.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses27%29%31%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$127,018$69,421$61,000
Current Assets$105,758$47,296$34,617
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$13,156$4,947$1,899
Total Net Assets$113,862$64,474$59,101
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --The Valley Community Foundation $5,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities8.049.5618.23
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments

The Friends of the Ansonia Nature Center (FANCI) works closely with the Ansonia Nature & Recreation Center (ANRC) and oversees the Redwing Pond House Preschool (RWPH). The ANRC is a municipal park, but depends on contributions from FANCI to maintain its programs and services. FANCI collaborates with the management and staff of the ANRC. In order to complement and support the environmental mission of the ANRC, FANCI opened a high-quality nature-based preschool located on the property of the ANRC. FANCI is the governing board of the RWPH, and the preschool and nature center staff work together to support the missions of both entities.

FANCI provides volunteer and financial support for the RWPH, and the ANRC, its programs and staff. FANCI maintains the ANRC trail system, reception/clerical work, nature shop sales, publicity, and help with special events at the ANRC. The programs and staff depend on the efforts of volunteers to maintain the ANRC and support programs.

The difference between the current projected fiscal year income and expenses (approximately $3,400) is due to an additional adjustment to be made for depreciation once the accountant completes the tax return.

Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 10 Deerfield Ln
Ansonia, CT 06401
Primary Phone 203 736-1053
Contact Email friendsanci@gmail.com
CEO/Executive Director Alison Rubelmann
Board Chair Mr. Peter Tuccio
Board Chair Company Affiliation William Raveis Real Estate and Northeast Building Supply

 

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