AMBOY, Ill. — An investment Russ Gremel made 70 years ago has paid off for wetlands preservation in north-central Illinois.

The 98-year-old Jefferson Park native has donated $2 million to the Illinois Audubon Society . The (Dixon) Telegraph reports ( ) the society paired the gift with a grant of more than $1 million from the Chicago-based Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to expand protected wetlands in southeast Amboy.

The donation began as a $1,000 investment in Walgreen’s stock. Gremel poured it into what is now the 395-acre Gremel Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s near the 300-acre Amboy Marsh Nature Preserve established in 2012.

Gremel also spent 60 years as a scoutmaster. Many of those touring the site last weekend were his Eagle Scouts.

Amboy is 105 miles (about 169 km) west of Chicago.

Information from: Dixon Telegraph,

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