Washington Brant Foundation


Educational Opportunities

Connecting kid’s & the classroom with nature!

The Washington Brant Foundation is active in providing in classroom educational lessons on the black brant and their habitat. Experienced and knowledgeable speakers discuss their estuarine habitats, their spectacular migration, feeding habits and more. When possible, students will also get the chance to meet one of our education birds!

If you are interested in more information for having this unique educational experience added to your teaching curriculum, contact [email protected].

Washington Brant Foundation Scholarship Program
Each year, the Washington Brant Foundation will award the David Hagerbaumer Scholarship to students pursuing careers in wildlife management and conservation focused on Waterfowl. This scholarship will be an ongoing annual scholarship.

Read La Conner Weekly News Article on David Hagerbaumer.

To find out more on the scholarship, please read below.

About The Washington Brant Foundadtion Scholarship
The Washington Brant Foundation is an all volunteer, 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization founded in 2001 to raise awareness of the unique Brant goose and its habitat. The mission is to promote the conservation and responsible management of Brant and other marine species in the Pacific Flyway through sponsorship of scientific research, education, and habitat enhancement programs. Through the mission objective of Education, the Washington Brant Foundation is pleased and excited to announce the offering of the David Hagerbaumer Scholarship to students pursuing careers in wildlife management and conservation focused on Waterfowl.

Scholarships Offered
A $1,000 scholarship may be awarded to a qualified applicant, paid directly to the student to be used for tuition, books, or fees for the college of their choice.

Who is Eligible?
Scholarships are available to any U.S. high school senior or current college student who is demonstrating a minimum 3.0 grade point average and completes the required application of essay. Scholarships will not be awarded to a student receiving a full scholarship from another source.

What is Needed?
The following must be received before May 15th, 2009. Essays not meeting requirements or received late will not be considered.

  • Completed Essay
  • Copy of letter of acceptance or transcript of proof of current school
  • Copy of grade transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation

Completed essay must be at least 500 words and must incorporate the following-

  • Goal of future role in waterfowl management or conservation
  • Inspiration for chosen field
  • How you feel you can positively effect waterfowl management or conservation
  • Why you want this scholarship

When and Where?
The successful essayists will be notified before May 30th, 2009. Only recipients of scholarship will be communicated to. Selection will be based upon merit of the application, without regard to race, gender, color, or religion. Decisions will be final and made by the Washington Brant Foundation Board of Directors.

Submit essays to:
Maynard Axelson
WBF President
15758 Fir Island Road
Mount Vernon, Wa 98273


Migratory Bird Educational Links

Schools for a living planet – bring the power of the environment to your classroom. Provides educators with free access to curriculum-linked, printable in-class activities for grades 3 to 8. Curriculum connects English, Social Studies and Science, in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

Check out our Kid’s Page for fun things kid’s can do learning about the brant and migratory birds.

Published March 18, 2009, La Conner Weekly News

Hagerbaumer: Ducks, donations … and humor
By Anna Ferdinand

It was the summer of 1982 and tourists were lining up at the restroom doors of every business in La Conner.

Mayor Bud Moore sent out a plea for help.

David Hagerbaumer remembers it well. “They had a toilet bowl sitting on the street and there was a sign there that said, ‘Help La Conner get a head.”

But the trickle of cash wouldn’t fill the bowl. “You couldn’t even buy toilet paper with what they were collecting,” says Hagerbaumer, a nationally renowned master painter of American wildlife. And this is how the artist became a “funding father” of La Conner’s public restrooms.

Hagerbaumer painted “Autumn Splendor,” a water color with a string of mallard ducks in rough formation, rising from a marsh. Most of his paintings are set in the fall or the dead of winter ― deep brown trees, dormant, save maybe for the few remaining leaves, splashes of red and yellow set against dead brown wood, dark green forest floor, yellowed grasses lining cobalt grey water. The metallic blue and green of the mallards’ wings and heads appear to jump from the solemn canvas.
He donated his painting, which sold at auction for $5,000, and 450 prints, to the La Conner Chamber of Commerce, which sold most of them.

A year later, after the restroom had been built, the chamber needed funds for maintenance.  Hagerbaumer painted another original and a series of prints. The combined total for his contribution is estimated to be $47,000.

He also donated an original painting which contributed $6,000 towards the cost of a Medic Van for La Conner.

“There hasn’t been anyone in the history of La Conner who has endowed the city with such a large amount of money,” said La Conner’s Parks Commission Chairman, Brian C. Scheuch, who is a birder, hunter and devoted friend of Hagerbaumer.

When the public restrooms were built, the town held a parade, dubbed the Potty Parade, replete with a “Princess Tinkle.”

Hagerbaumer was the Grand Marshal and, together with his wife Delphy, “christened” both sides of the facility.

“You just have to admire a man who is willing to do that for the community,” said La Conner Mayor, Ramon Hayes. “This was the community coming together, using the best of our resources, making a realistic need come to fruition.  He used his talent and the community rallied around him to make it happen.”

Hagerbaumer, who now lives in Conway, came to Shelter Bay in 1979 after moving his way north from California, city by city, gravitating to the land that most resembled the paradise of his youth.

He grew up in Illinois on a small 40-acre farm near the upper Mississippi River bottomland. The land was settled by his grandparents in 1885, before there were dikes to turn it into farmland. It was the place that instilled his lifelong love of hunting, fishing and trapping.

When the Great Depression hit, Hagerbaumer was 8 years old. Ducks and potatoes saw the family through.

In those days, “we were farmers starving to death like everyone else,” Hagerbaumer said. “Except that we had potatoes – and I don’t like potatoes today because of that. I started market hunting, shooting ducks and selling them.”
Authorities might have considered that poaching, which was illegal, but people were doing what they had to for survival. He sold the ducks to the saloon owner who had the women in the fishing shacks pick and dress them for 10 cents apiece. And then the saloon owner sold them in Chicago for a dollar.

  “If you did it today they’d throw you in the hoosegow,” says Hagerbaumer.
His first depiction of water fowl, drawn in pencil at the age of 18, is framed on his wall. The progression to mastery is evident everywhere you turn in his home on a hill, which overlooks the Skagit Valley to the North.

He renders life to light, splashes of yellow against a white sky, the peachy glow of sunrise, the perspective of a hunter at dawn, birds fleeing the first shot of the morning, rising from the grasses. Backgrounds fade into a shrouded mist.

In his youth, he left his beloved Illinois home to join the Marines. He became a welder, worked at a filling station, trapped predators for hire, went to art school, then began work for museums collecting specimens and learned taxidermy.
He painted all the while.

He knew he’d arrived when his work made it to the galleries in New York City, but he was never a big city kind of guy.

 “I’m a gypsy.” Hagerbaumer says. “I’ve settled down finally.  But I’ve lived in 45 different houses.”

In his current home, with the afternoon sun shining into his living room adorned with his paintings and bronze sculptures, he announced, “I’m not going to be buried; I’m going to be cremated ‘cause I don’t want to take up any space on the ground.”

Scheuch is working to persuade La Conner to honor Hagerbaumer for his charitable contributions. He said the artist has contributed in excess of $300,000 to organizations ranging from the international Ducks Unlimited, to the Padilla Bay Foundation in Bay View.

“The further I dig into Hagerbaumer’s history the more of these philanthropic gifts I find,” says Scheuch. He believes it would be appropriate to honor Hagerbaumer in another parade, though Hagerbaumer may not be one for such fanfare.
“I envision Dave skydiving down onto First Street,” Scheuch teases.

“In my camouflage underwear,” Hagerbaumer shoots back.