The Solon Dixon Foundation made a gift to the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, or SDFEC. Their gift supports the SDFEC’s purchase of new equipment, the maintenance of older equipment and the replacement of cafeteria and classroom furnishings.
The gift includes: a Bush Hog rotary cutter, a Diamond stump grinder, a Ford F150 crew cab vehicle, a John Deere cab tractor, tables for the center’s classroom and cafeteria, 110 chairs for the center’s cafeteria, 6-way blade and tracks for the Caterpillar and miscellaneous tools.
The SDFEC is home to over 5,300 acres offering freshwater springs, longleaf pine forests, cypress swamps and river frontage along the Conecuh River and borders the National Forest. The center functions as a living laboratory for hands-on, experiential learning for students, practitioners, and landowners who come to the facility to explore its diverse ecosystems and learn best practices from leaders in their field.
“The gift for new equipment, replacements and maintenance at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center was considered by the Foundation directors to be the continuation of Mr. Solon’s vision for a place where young people could experience nature through applied teaching while learning about forestry, wildlife and other natural resources,” said Phillip Jones, president of the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation.
The SDFEC provides traditional classroom and immersive outdoor field experiences for people learning about forestry, wildlife and natural resources management. The center is also an excellent venue for special events, meetings and other functions as it offers gathering spaces, living quarters, cafeteria-style dining, technological resources and abundant recreation opportunities.
Since the original gift was established by Solon Dixon to establish the SDFEC, the support by Mr. Dixon and subsequently the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation has never wavered says Joel Martin, SDFEC director.
“Since my arrival in 2006, the foundation has regularly contributed to various projects to improve the center. From acquisition of adjoining lands to equipment, facility repairs, or upgraded furnishings, the foundation has been a primary funding source that has allowed the center to provide a high-quality experience for our visitors,” said Martin. “The recent gift once again has allowed us to purchase a variety of equipment, update various buildings and refurnish the cafeteria. Their support has and continues to maintain the standard that was established, and expected, by Solon Dixon and all that have come after him.”
“The investments of the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation have contributed immensely to the maintenance and enhancement of the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center; allowing it to retain
its status as one of the finest field stations in the country,” said Janaki Alavalapati, dean of the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment. “The college is grateful for the continued support.”
(Written by Jamie Anderson)