Jeffers Foundation


About Jeffers Foundation

How it came to be

Jeffers Foundation was made possible through a bequest of the estate of Robert (Bob) W. Jeffers, a long-time resident of Prior Lake, Minnesota. Proceeds from the development of Prior Lake property owned by Bob together with ownership of some unimproved land constituted the initial foundation financial resources. Through the untiring, imaginative income producing efforts of Jeffers chairman, Paul W. Oberg, income derived from these resources permits Jeffers to offer its products and programs free of charge. As the executor of Bob Jeffers estate, Paul W. Oberg, placed a conservation easement on some pristine woods, waterways (Jeffers Pond) and prairies located near the center of the Jeffers property. The easement, which carries the force of law, insures that this area will remain in its natural undeveloped state. Jeffers Pond Elementary School is located just adjacent to this nature park. The students/staff of this and other elementary schools and the citizens of Prior Lake will have the use of this remarkable area for the foreseeable future.


Jeffers Foundation was established in March 2005 for the following purpose: " provide for direct primary education and the development of primary education principles, models, and curricula aimed at teaching young persons the value of wise stewardship of natural resources... and insuring the conservation and preservation of natural resources for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations."

Operating Foundation

An operating foundation with an IRS 501c3 designation, Jeffers is engaged in a variety of activities aimed at fulfilling its primary objective. Jeffers seeks out opportunities to work with individuals both educators and others who have an interest in Environmental Education. Jeffers works with schools at all levels to develop and share programs aimed at helping students learn sound principles of environmental stewardship. Jeffers seeks to produce programs and products aimed at making the generalist teacher more comfortable in teaching EE stewardship principles. Jeffers seeks meaningful partnerships with others of common interests, the synergy of like minds and diverse means.


Jeffers' first Grant in the Spring of 2005, went to Five Hawks Elementary School to make possible an all-school "Big Splash" water festival in the fall of that year. This was a highly successful project that was well received. Since that first grant, Jeffers has awarded many grants through a Partnership Grant Program. In addition, Jeffers has sponsored and supported successful enterprises with the Prior Lake Savage Area school district, Community Education programs, residential environmental learning centers, individual elementary schools, civic organizations, teacher and professional groups, St. Catherine University , the University of Minnesota Morris, the U of M Duluth, the Cities of Savage and Prior Lake Minnesota and many more.


Jeffers recently introduced A Garden 4 Every School a new set of web pages aimed at highlighting what schools around the state are doing to have school gardens. We produced a set of videos to tell the story and have included support references as well.


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