To initiate, encourage, coordinate, stimulate, and assist civic and community organizations, business, professional and educational interests and appropriate units of government in the study and appreciation of ornithology; to preserve and protect wildlife habitats; to support all reasonable programs of air and water pollution abatement and control; to support the principles of conservation of natural resources at local, state and national levels; to encourage and enlist the active cooperation of all citizens in the Racine and Kenosha County areas in support of these aims.

Who was Dr. Philo Romayne Hoy?

Philo Romayne Hoy was born into a pioneer family on November 3. 1816 in Richland County, Ohio with three gifts: physical energy, mental hunger, and joy of life. These gifts shaped all of his 76 years.

As a schoolboy “he kept close watch of everything about him-the stars above and the waters and earth forms below: the winged things of the air, the creatures of field and forest, and the trees, forests, flowers, grasses, racks, fossils and soils…” He found joy in observing carefully, drawing his own conclusions, and then comparing discoveries with others.

Several years after graduating from medical school, Dr. Hoy took a canoe trip along the west shore of Lake Michigan. He decided that the new little town of Racine was a place he liked. In 1846 he brought his wife and infant son here, bought two lots on 9th Street between Main and Wisconsin, built a house, a stable and an office, and settled in.

His practice was mostly outside the little town, but the long rides were not idle times. Along with his medical case he carried a butterfly net, a pocket lens, a botany book, and his ever curious interest in the natural world.

His constant interest in nature led to many achievements, including several articles about Indian mounds, as well as platting Mound cemetery in a way to preserve the original mounds. He was president of the Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Science. He made a thorough collection of bird specimens, including some now extinct. He also wrote extensively about migration patterns of birds, especially those passing through Racine County. Dr. Hoy died Dec. 8, 1892, and is buried in Mound Cemetery.

On May 16, 1964, a group of Racine nature enthusiasts held an informal gathering with the hope of creating a club through which the members could share their strong interests in nature. The group also hoped to stimulate public interest in the need to protect and preserve our natural heritage.

They chose to name this new group in honor of this very special Racine pioneer, Dr. Philo Hoy. On June 4, 1964 The Hoy Bird Club was formed. In 1970 the name was changed to The Hoy Nature Club, Inc. as a means of recognizing the broader interests of its members and in keeping with the varied range of Dr. Hoy’s interests. In 1999, the club became affiliated with National Audubon Society, becoming the Hoy Audubon Society, Inc.

Read more about Dr. Hoy here, article from The Passenger Pigeon [Volume VI, Number 3 (July 1944)]