Nature A-Bounds! aims to engage the entire family in environmental education.
Liz Roxberry, Fenner’s NAB coordinator, said you don’t have to live on rolling acres of land to experience nature.
“We consistently hear, ‘We don’t have a great big swath of land where we can take our kids to learn,’ ” Roxberry said. “Part of what we do with NAB is show them you can learn about nature in a parking lot. You can look at edge ecology, where nature bumps up against man-made things. You can look at a downspout and look at water ecology in ways that are meaningful, even though it’s on a smaller scale.
“It’s a great message for those who may not have these wide expanses that we do at Fenner to still get out, enjoy it and learn.”
As a result, Roxberry said, more families are coming back to Fenner to learn about how they can be more involved in simply being outside. “Part of our in-kind contribution is to offer memberships to low-income families so they can get reduced-cost programming through Fenner,” she said. “We may not see the impact from this for another 10 or 15 years, but it’s important. Fenner’s mission is longterm sustainability for everyone. The more we can share that message, the better we’re going to be long term.”
Meyer said the Community Foundation’s support is invaluable for Fenner. “This is one of those grant programs where everything just worked.”
“And it keeps getting better,” Roxberry added.
Facts about Fenner
Fenner Nature Center is an environmental education center encompassing 134 acres of green space. Its mission is to connect people to nature in the heart of Lansing through conservation, education and stewardship.
Now run by the nonprofit Fenner Conservancy, the property includes more than four miles of trails, including two handicap-accessible, paved trail loops.
Inside the visitor center, check out their collection of live native reptiles and amphibians; watch songbirds, deer and wild turkeys through the large picture windows; and explore the hands-on children’s exhibits.
When was the last time you went wild?