Auburn University alumna Sarah Crim has joined the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center as education director, responsible for all nature education programming at the KPNC. Crim succeeds Jennifer Lolley, who retired in 2022 after a successful tenure as outreach administrator.
Crim is a longtime volunteer and staff member at the KPNC, notably as the founder of the popular Forest Friends program in 2009 and the Woodland Wonders preschool in 2019. Crim earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment and later served as director of student services for the college.
Crim worked part-time for several years with the KPNC’s caregiver-and-child education programs, and after some time away, she returned full-time as education director at Lolley’s request. Crim says the challenges and opportunities presented by her new responsibilities often overlap.
“The biggest challenge is balancing the many opportunities to enhance the lives of people who visit, maintain a haven for wildlife and also restore health and grow a well-managed forest,” she said.
Crim is also pursuing a doctorate in early childhood education at Auburn University, focusing her research on the Woodland Wonders Preschool.
“The positive benefits of being outside in nature are numerous,” Crim said. “It’s good for your health; it helps develop fine and gross motor skills; it is good for our cognitive and spiritual health. The benefits are for the whole child.”
For the whole family, Crim has also focused on more workshop offerings, including classes on flower arranging, campfire cooking, and water-quality monitoring. Many are offered in collaboration with local partners who share similar goals and vision.
“Sarah Crim will continue to grow the KPNC as an invaluable learning resource. She has a passion for environmental education, which will benefit the Auburn community for years to come,” said Dean Janaki Alavalapati.