As Flagstone continues to grow, we recognize that much of our success is a result of being a part of a caring, generous community. Our clients – whether they are in Lincoln, Omaha, or elsewhere – tend to display an attitude to better themselves, those around them, and their community at large. While serving comes from an attitude of selflessness and generosity, it ends up being mutually beneficial. Those who serve their community end up reaping the benefits of a thriving community, and we’ve seen that effect in our client’s lives.

As a business based in Lincoln, we recognize that in addition to clients, our employees, and our owner, an important stakeholder of Flagstone is our community. How can we benefit our community directly, in addition to simply helping our clients?

We recently had an opportunity to do just that, by cosponsoring a fundraiser for the Friends of Pioneers Park Nature Center. Long-time Lincoln residents may already be familiar with the Nature Center, because most elementary school students take a hike through the Nature Center with their classmates. The Friends of Pioneers Park Nature Center helps fund those hikes.

On a broader scale, the Nature Center has a mission to interpret the natural history of Nebraska and the central great plains; to promote the enjoyment, appreciation and awareness of our natural environment; to practice and foster a conservation ethic; and to provide a sanctuary for wildlife and a peaceful retreat for people. It does this through maintaining 668 acres of tallgrass prairie, woodlands, wetlands and a stream to the west of Pioneers Park. Hiking trails, bison, birds, and other animals are among the attractions to enjoy at the Nature Center. It’s truly a gem for individuals or families who are looking to escape the city and enjoy nature in a peaceful setting. If this sounds like an advertisement, it’s because the Nature Center means something to me personally. I serve on the Board of Directors, and my wife and I enjoy the Nature Center on a regular basis. We actually had some of our engagement photos taken in the prairie grass, as many Lincoln couples do.

With the personal connection to the Nature Center, and because it has been an important part of the Lincoln community for years, getting involved with the fundraiser for the Friends of Pioneers Park Nature Center was a great opportunity for Flagstone. The event was called Bites, Bikes and Bison, and it was a blast. About 200 cyclists rode their bikes on one of three routes that took them through the Nature Center, White Elm Brewing, and Method Cycles and Craft House. The routes ended back at the Nature Center, where food trucks, yard games, yoga, and hayrack rides to see the bison awaited the cyclists. The event is an annual event, so if you missed out this year, keep your eyes and ears open for next year.

Giving back to the community that has contributed to our success is important to us at Flagstone, which is one reason I wanted to share this story. Another reason is that I hope this inspires you to think about generosity as more than just giving your money, lowering your taxes, or fulfilling an obligation. Serving on the Board for the Friends of Pioneers Park Nature Center has been a way for me to align my passion for the outdoors with an attitude of generosity. I get a charge out of giving back to the Nature Center. It’s not something I dread, it’s something I look forward to. Are you still trying to figure out ways you can give back with your time, talent, or treasure? Identify your passions, and then try to find organizations that can align with those passions. The rewards – for you and for others – of giving back to your community in a way that you enjoy can be exponentially better than when you simply give out of obligation.