A recent grant from the F. Allen and Louise K. Turner Charitable Foundation will broaden the scope of nature education offered by the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center.
Initially established in 1993 through a gift of land and an endowment from
Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner, the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center has steadily grown into a hub for nature education that is unique to the area. In addition to trails and programs for all ages, the KPNC offers the first nature preschool in the region, the Woodland Wonders Nature Preschool.
“Louise Turner grew up going on camping trips with her family which developed her love of the outdoors,” said Alesia Davenport on behalf of the Turner Foundation.
“Before she donated this property, she had already sketched out the trails based on the topography of the land. Her goal was to help others create an
attachment to land and nature. Thanks to the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment for continuing to carry out her philanthropic legacy.”
Michael Buckman, manager of the KPNC, says the grant proposal included funding for several muchneeded updates, including educational supplies such as binoculars and specimens, teacher training, teaching kits and educational and program KPNC receives grant from F. Allen and Louise K. Turner Foundation signage. The grant also provides for improvements to living conditions for the KPNC’s resident animals and gardening supplies for landscaping as well as teaching and sensory gardens.
Buckman is most excited about the scholarships that will be provided by the grant. “There are schools in our region who want to offer field trips to the KPNC, but they can’t afford the cost per student plus transportation,” he said. “This grant will make it possible for schools to visit that have never been able to before.”
The grant will have an even bigger impact with the construction of the Environmental Education Building, which will begin in summer 2023. “This grant will improve the KPNC’s ability to fulfill its core mission and Louise Kreher Turner’s original vision for the property – nature education,” said Dean Janaki Alavalapati. “We look forward to seeing these programs grow and provide a richer experience for visitors.”
(Written by Avanelle Elmore)