Crowley Museum And Nature Center Inc
16405 Myakka Rd
Sarasota FL 34240

To facilitate the enjoyment and understanding of Southwest Florida nature and history, to foster responsible stewardship, and to promote environmental awareness.

CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Dixie Resnick
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1974
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes May 2018
State Registration 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
Impact Statement

We promote research, preservation, and education of Southwest Florida Natural & Cultural History. Our programs serve to reconnect children with natural systems and encourage conservation and sustainable lifestyles.  This connection with natural systems, coupled with an understanding of the need to operate in a manner consistent with these systems, creates confidence and awareness in the participants. As they interact with farm animals, observe the workings of nature: pollinators, soil organisms, and beneficial insects, and understand the limitations of natural resources they take away a new world view. This happens for adults as well, particularly as they take classes at Crowley Folk School in basic skills "that never lose their usefulness". We continue to support our small local farms with research and consultations. We also observe the joy seniors express as they remember a simpler time swinging on the porch swing of our "living homestead museum" and watch chickens scratch in the yard. Our goals for the current year include building memberships (up significantly from January), build student participation in our folk school, continue research and support of local small farms, and produce food for resale. Building bridges between Sarasota counties rural and urban communities continues to be a focus. Our founder, Jasper Crowley, believed that a solid connection with nature and natural systems, as well as understanding how our food is produced and the importance of sustainable and conservative practices in food production, built character and confidence in participants. We work each day to further this mission. 

Needs Statement
  1. Replace unique existing 1/2 mile boardwalk from age and Hurricane Irma. $200,000
  2. Sand surrey bikes and all terrain wheelchairs, Total: 8400.00.
  3. 6 passenger ATV, 15,000
  4. Tools, 3800.00
  5. Land management for 6 months $16,800
Background Statement

Crowley Museum and Nature Center is a 501(c)3 community organization founded by Jasper Crowley (1900-1976) in 1974.  John Crowley, Jasper’s grandfather, was an Irish immigrant who came to this area from Pennsylvania. He was a farmer, a blacksmith, and a sawmill owner and his wife Sylvia was a teacher. James Jeremiah Crowley, son of John Crowley, was a storekeeper, machinist, carpenter, gold digger, County Commissioner, farmer, sawmill owner, and a bridge tender. William Jasper Crowley, son of James Jeremiah, was a teacher, farmer, conservationist, musician, and historian. He was raised on this land that is now Crowley. Jasper got his degree from the University of Florida in 1931 and began teaching at the Miakka one-room schoolhouse.

While the Crowley lands were used to make a living; the beauty of the land was respected and preserved. Jasper saw that the pioneer history on the land was integrated with nature, depicting use with preservation. Every act, throughout his life, was in support of enlightenment and preservation. He wanted people to see how pioneer settlers like his grandfather John Crowley had lived. He invited busloads of children to his farm to interact with many types of animals. One day, Jasper read an article in the column “A Bird of the Week” by Audubon President and founder Edina Truchot (1899-1976). She had visited the land and wrote that it should be preserved due to the uniqueness of it. He called her and plans for the center began. Edina, was a strict naturalist and insisted that nothing be changed or inhibited in its growth, no spider webs removed, no grasshoppers “accidentally” stepped on.  Jasper, on the other hand, kept the undergrowth mowed, and he also would plant things of interest for visitors such as an old turtle shell, cow bones, or a snakeskin. He had worked the land his entire life and knew what would happen if left to grow unchecked. Jasper wanted to maintain the area as it had existed since his forbearers established their homestead claims. Their stewardship of the land was evident in the Crowley family philosophy of “use half and leave half”. In time, Edina came to understand the advantages of combining her areas of expertise in botany, zoology, and fossil collecting with the ideals of Jasper. Today, Crowley remains a center for natural and cultural history as well as sustainable agriculture. 


Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
FL- Charlotte
FL- Hillsborough
Areas Served Comments Crowley Museum and Nature Center offers education programs for any public or private youth education or adult group. A day or camping overnight trip can be scheduled to experience classes specializing in Florida pioneer history, agricultural practices and wilderness survival.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Environment
Tertiary Org Type Animal Related
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

As Chairman of the Board of Crowley Museum & Nature Center, Inc., I want to invite you to come visit us, explore and see how we have recently renewed and expanded what Crowley has to offer to you, our community. Currently, we are focusing our energies on two important programs at Crowley. First, our Crowley Education Programs offering classes to youth including pioneer history, environmental science, sustainable agriculture, farming, wilderness survival and Florida history. Second is our newly revamped adult and folk school education programs including - shinrin yoku, blacksmithing, backyard chickens, summer gardening, meditation, fermentation, candle making, survival, canning, and other "lost" folk arts. We hope to add green technologies as well. 

I hope that you will come out, bring others or come back to visit again! See the changes that are being made while recovering from hurricane Irma and also share with us your vision for the future of Crowley, your community organization. We very much appreciate your continued support. Please contact us with your suggestions and comments, we look forward to your input.

Dixie Resnick
Description Crowley Folk School registrants can choose from a broad variety of weekend classes offered year round. Out of the area participants can camp with assistance from Not a Clue Adventures concierge camping and enjoy a creative learning vacation enhanced by knowledgeable instructors and small classes. Offerings are made for the novice or expert— blacksmithing, fermenting, gardening, survival, canning, weaving, our participants learn skills in “lost” folk arts. These accomplishments lead to self-reliance and confidence.
Budget $12,000
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success Participants have learned skills that aid them in providing for themselves and develop confidence and the understanding that they need not completely rely on outside sources for sustenance. They are also given the opportunity to learn about the history and environment of this area of Florida.
Long Term Success Participants will develop the ability to carry out traditional and modern skills that never lose their usefulness. This ability will help them to feel more confident in their ability to provide for themselves. They are also inspired to help educate others about the importance of preserving these life skills as well as the history and environment of SW Florida.
Program Success Monitoring Success will be monitored by reviews by participants collected after each session.This data will be reviewed by the Education Director and presented to the board for improvement and development.
Program Success Examples A large collection of new programs and instructors actively being scheduled and filled in 2018. Some are already at capacity.
Elementary and middle school aged students studying life of early Florida pioneers will delight in this experiential learning program. Hands-on activities allow students to imagine what it would be like to live in Florida at the turn-of-the-century during this 2 hour on site tour.
Students will be met by period costumed, living history facilitators. They will visit a museum, homestead cabin, the Tatum house, a sawmill, blacksmith shop, kitchen garden, sugarcane mill, and livestock area. They will learn about daily pioneer life on the farm, in the home, and social life. Artifacts and tools will be available for the children to handle and crafts will be demonstrated. They will engage with farm animals and learn natural history on a hike including impacts of Indians and early pioneers. Teachers are provided with materials for an anticipatory set, a detailed teacher workbook on early Florida history, lesson plans, and worksheets for students. 
Budget $10,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success Teacher report that students attending this program deeply connected with the history of early Florida and understood impacts of early settlers as well as conservation strategies that could still be utilized today. As a result we are constantly getting new school and youth groups scheduled as well as re-occuring visits from satisfied groups who attended previously.
Long Term Success Students will understand Florida pioneer cultural and natural history, understand the pioneer hardships and spirit of determination, appreciate modern conveniences, anticipate human impact on the natural environment, consider conservation practices, and pass the benchmark of understanding life of the Florida pioneer. From a pilot program in 2010 we now serve many organization in many counties with this unique program that are both part of the public and private education sector.
Program Success Monitoring Program success is monitored by feedback from teachers, as well as responses from students often with cards and letters. Referrals and return visits also designate success.Additionally programs are audited by the current Board Chair. Feedback is collected by the Education director and presented to the board for feedback and improvement. All programs are also analyzed through profit and loss analysis.
Program Success Examples Many teachers express that this program is more successful than other programs that the children have attended in previous years. Teachers report deeper understanding of students as far as pioneer life, natural history, and conservation.Students actively engage in activities and with instructors. From learning to start fire with primitive methods to pump drills, butter making and priming water pumps, student feel accomplished in creating something the previously did not understand or know was possible.
Promoting rearing of Florida heritage breeds is part of the mission of the sustainable agriculture program at Crowley. Heritage breeds that were brought to Florida from other subtropical climates and have evolved over generations to thrive in spite of heat, humidity, and mosquitoes and are also resistant to pests and disease are sustainable livestock rearing choices. Crowley demonstrates care and rearing of Florida-friendly farm animals and crops.
Crowley Museum and Nature Center plans to offer new educational programs geared to organic grape growing, as well as the seasonal crops that can be grown in conjunction with grapes or once the grapes are harvested. Crowley also sponsors the Old Miakka Farmers market that offers 100% locally grown foods and locally sourced products.
Budget $6,000
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Agricultural Production
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Short Term Success Individuals interested in switching to more sustainable practices or beginning backyard, ranching, or farming concerns will have access to education and advice on how to proceed.These classes are tailored to the age group served. The program includes agricultural animal husbandry, seasonal crop farming and proper food prep practices.
Long Term Success This program promotes sustainable agriculture by educating individuals in Florida specific sustainable livestock rearing and crop management. The goals of the program are to reduce health risks for animals and ultimately people and to lessen impacts on the environment.This program promotes local and sustainable agricultural practices for the back yard farmer to larger scale community farming.
Program Success Monitoring Success of the program is monitored by individual reviews of program participants as well as surveys on successes had following participation.These are collected along with a profit and loss document by our Education Director. This information is presented to the board for consideration and improvement.
Program Success Examples We have sent our consultants to various ranches and dairy farms to aid them in developing sustainable practices. We also staff life long farmers as instructors. We have improved our own pastures to produce more forage and greater variety of forage. We have furthered production of vegetables, fruits, and heritage breeding stock of "Cracker" cattle, poultry and a hog.
Primitive camping is a wonderful way to observe wildlife at dawn and dusk. Campsites are inside the Indian Fields, a Calusa Indian historic campground. Reservations required. Sites limited to tent and hammock camping only.
In the Camping 101 program, guests will learn to camp from start to finish with Jeanene Arrington of Not a Clue Adventures. Not a Clue Adventures will provide all the gear (except sleeping bags) including tents, set up the campsite, prepare food, and take guests on adventures.
Budget $5,000
Category Recreation & Sports, General/Other Camping
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success Concierge camping helps people who would otherwise not attempt the camp out experience develop the skills necessary to camp on their own.They also learn basic survival and fire safety skills.
Long Term Success Camping is a highly effective method of connecting to nature and natural systems. Fostering a care and connection to the local environment is essential in proper wild lands conservation and management.
Program Success Monitoring Exit interviews with campers and return campers are indications of success of the primitive camping program. All responses have been very positive. No complaints were registered. Because of this feedback new camping programs have been include. Volunteer camp outs, pioneer camp outs and from novice to advanced.
Program Success Examples
An example of how concierge camping is beneficial is this:
One family of four utilized the concierge camping service. The mother stated that had it  not been for this service she would never have tried tent camping. She has expressed plans to camp more frequently and she and her family have become Crowley members. She feels a milestone in her personal development has been reached as she feared camping in the wilderness prior to her experience. Now, she looks forward to her next experience and more comfortable in the outdoors in general. Her exposure to wild habitat has shown her that there is more to be enjoyed than there is to be feared and this has made her more confident in the world in general. She shared that she had grown up in an urban environment and had not experienced much outdoors in wilderness areas. Additionally, many more camping excursions have been planned and executed with varying levels of expertise.
Program Comments by Organization


“Come on inside now, with the rest of us…” pleaded the counselor from the girl’s club. A suspicious looking 9-year-old girl held the door cracked and peaked in at the rest of the girls and the dog. The girl looked up at the counselor and shook her head, refusing to open the door all the way. When further encouragement met with opposition, the counselor gave in to her and the group headed for the picnic tables outside. “Why don’t we begin by asking if you have questions or concerns you want to share?” offered the Crowley naturalist guide.  A very small girl queried softly, “Could we get attacked by a panther?”

 “Heather is afraid of chickens, too!” the other girls disclosed while pointing to the chickens in the yard. The naturalist assured the girls that the chickens were not only harmless and that handicapped hen “Sarah”, in particular, was very affectionate with children. Unconvinced, Heather cowered behind the others. The rest of the girls also had concerns to share, most all of them around the risks involved in interacting with farm animals and wild animals.

As they walked along the boardwalk heading through the swamp, Heather pointed out a very large brightly colored Banana Spider hanging on a giant web. The girls all gasped. Heather pushed herself against the railing of the boardwalk as far away from the spider as she could manage. The trail guide reached out and touched the spider’s front leg with the handle of a butterfly net. The spider pulled her foot back. The naturalist touched a rear leg. The spider hastily retreated. The guide explained the spider had a job, and that job was to raise baby spiders and so the spider would not be inclined to risk her life and potentially fail at her mission. Also, because the spider was timid and non-venomous, it therefore was large and brightly colored to scare off predators.

The guide looked at the girls standing in the creek and then bent down and scooped up two handfuls of sand. Washing away the sand she exposed a giant snail and some small clams and handed the shellfish to the girls to examine. “This is how your ancestors survived. They foraged for plants, gathered shellfish, and hunted wild animals. They also built shelters from wood and other materials you see around you. Nature provides food and shelter for all of earth’s creatures.”

For 38 years Crowley Museum and Nature Center has imparted a connection to the earth to children who have not been exposed to natural areas or rural farmlands. Many of these children are raised in urban areas with park playgrounds and manicured landscapes and little access to natural lands, and they often harbor fear of this unknown. They also do not know how their pre-packaged food is sourced. These children rarely understand that they have the ability to access and produce food and materials working within natural systems, a knowledge that builds confidence. In the Florida pioneer era, depicted at Crowley, having a vegetable garden was a necessity. During that time, it was widely believed that working the garden imparted a love of nature into children.

Jasper Crowley, teacher, farmer, and rancher formed Crowley Museum and Nature Center, Inc. in 1968 with President of Audubon Society, fossil expert, and wildlife rehabilitator, Edina Truchot. Jasper and Edina believed that a connection with natural systems including sources of food was critical to health and wellbeing. Jasper began to teach at the Old Miakka one-room schoolhouse in 1933 and over the next 10 years he believed he had witnessed the birth of delinquency in children. He attributed this to a disconnection with natural systems and a lack of confidence.

At Crowley, connecting with the natural world will happen, to what degree it happens is neatly correlated with the amount of time invested here. 

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email n/a
Experience We are currently looking for a qualified Executive Director who will work actively with the board to achieve the short and long term goals set up by the board of directors.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ms. E. Poire 2010 - Sept 2015
Ms. Tonya Schrott Jan 2010 - June 2010
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 7
Volunteers 15
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
SCTI ACE adult education program, Science and Environmental Council of Sarasota, Florida House Foundation, Old Miakka Methodist Church, IFAS/Sarasota County Cooperative Extensio, Bok Tower Gardens, Manatee County Fair
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization We are very excited about our future plans for CMNC, we are looking for new, diverse and qualified staff to help us reach our goals. We are recovering from hurricane Irma damage and expanding our educational programs. We hope to be able to employ an executive director this year.
Board Chair
Board Chair Dixie Resnick
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Mar 2017 to Apr 2020
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms. Ruby Jo Brew Community Volunteer & Secretary
Mr. Dean Crowley Community Volunteer
Ms. Jeanene Fisher Not A Clue Adventures
Ms. Susan Flynn ESQAttorney
Mr. Phil Nye Community Volunteer & Treasurer Enrolled Agent IRS
Ms. Dixie Resnick Board Chair
Mr. Jeffery Scarbrough Community Volunteer & Land Manager
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 3
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Board Meeting Attendance % 96
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Governance Comments by Organization We are in search of qualified, driven board members to build our board. Our goal is diversity, active participation and unique contributions of diverse knowledge in varying educational backgrounds.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Jan
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2018
Fiscal Year End Month Dec
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $60,000.00
Projected Expenses $20,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations Yes
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $62,252.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$29,256$53,039$147,397
Administration Expense$4,355$2,959$9,704
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.191.110.24
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%95%94%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,027,148$999,971$1,001,735
Current Assets$48,658$13,892$4,038
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$9,960
Current Liabilities$42$7,999$5,899
Total Net Assets$1,027,106$991,972$985,876
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $53,501Contributions, gifts, grants $52,661Admissions $17,989
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $6,298Net Income from Sales of Inventory $3,888Program Income $6,332
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Income $5,828Program Income $2,280Contributions, gifts, grants $5,049
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1158.521.740.68
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%1%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990.  Financial figures taken from the 990.
Nonprofit Crowley Museum And Nature Center Inc
Address 16405 Myakka Rd
Sarasota, FL 34219
Phone 941 322-1000

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