Elevate Nebraska

My Story: Margery Nicolson

"A spectacle you won't see anywhere else in the world." - Margery Nicolson, Dedicated Audubon Nebraska Supporter and Conservation Advocate

A Legacy of Love

After one visit, she became an annual migrant to Rowe Sanctuary—and Audubon became her greatest passion. In the 1990s, the late Margery Nicolson and her late husband, Iain, made their first trip to Nebraska’s Platte River to witness the annual spring migration of Sandhill Cranes. Margery, who passed away in 2020, described it as “a spectacle you won’t see anywhere else in the world.”

When Iain died in 2001, Margery made a leadership gift to construct the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary. Not only was she a guiding light on Rowe’s advisory board from 2011 to 2017, she also was a dedicated volunteer every crane season, pitching in on all tasks—from leading visitor tours to staffing the gift shop.

While Rowe was closest to her heart, Margery was an Audubon champion. She was a founding member of Audubon Alaska’s board in 2001, serving four terms. She also served on Audubon California’s board and Audubon’s national board.

A proud member of Audubon’s Grinnell Legacy Society, Margery knew well the importance of providing support for tomorrow by planning today. She left a generous bequest to help Audubon preserve the wild places she held most dear: in Nebraska, Alaska, and California. A significant portion of this bequest supports Audubon’s work in Nebraska, which has been placed in Rowe’s endowment, ensuring that we have dedicated resources to rely on, from ongoing maintenance to the expansion of the center’s building, trails, and viewing blinds. Margery’s bequest is also being used to provide seed funding to accelerate the growth of the Platte River Initiative. With Audubon Nebraska at the helm, we are convening all the partners needed to create a 50-year water management plan for the Platte River that encompasses three states with an ecosystem-wide vision.

Margery’s legacy of generosity, leadership, and passion for conservation lives on, ensuring that future generations can experience the wonder of Sandhill Cranes in a place she loved most.

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