Incorporated in 1992 as a 501(c)(3), The Dunwoody Nature Center’s mission is to inspire the love of nature and cultivate environmental understanding and stewardship. For 20 years, we have demonstrated this mission by conserving and enhancing Dunwoody Park, educating children, families, and adults of all ages about the natural world and our place in it, and motivating environmental awareness and responsible action. Each year over 10,000 people attend field trips, scout, adult or other environmental programs conducted by the Nature Center. More than 1,000 individual and corporate volunteers donate more than 10,000 hours supporting the mission of the nature center - the equivalent of 5 full-time employees. An additional 25,000 people visit the park each year as a home for families, hikers, dog walkers, and those who seek a quick, convenient escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here's a quick look back on what we've accomplished this year:
- Doubled the size of the annual Butterfly Festival with two butterfly experience tents enchanting twice the number of visitors;
- Underwrote over 1,000 field trip scholarships for students from Title 1 funded schools equipping these children to take into adulthood memories of hiking, katydids and crawfish as their schoolroom curriculum, quite literally, comes to life in Wildcat Creek and on our trails;
- Improved the grounds and facilities of Dunwoody Park by restoring our main meadow area with a rain garden to collect storm water runoff and prevent erosion, adding garden beds, picnic areas, and tree swings to our front meadow, and implementing a weather monitoring station;
- Inaugurated a teen Leadership in Training program that engaged area youth to augment their appreciation of nature as they become prepared stewards of the environment;
- Invited people of all ages to free Friday night hikes, Saturday night concerts, weekend long Great Backyard Bird count, family campouts and adult lectures and classes;
- Cultivated meaningful community engagement with corporate, philanthropic, civic, educational and service constituencies to manage, restore, maintain and improve Dunwoody Park;
- Collaborated with other community environmental initiatives such as the gardening programs at Austin Elementary, Peachtree Charter Middle School, and Chamblee Middle School; and various co-sponsors to organize a paint recycling event on Earth Day that resulted in 1,727 gallons of paint being collected and recycled, rather than ending up in a landfill.
Our plans for 2014 are even more ambitious and include expanded lecture space and decking, an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible front entry and much needed public restrooms. Our outreach mission to Title 1 schools resonated with school administrators and we will continue to create avenues for learning, which we established in 2013, for disadvantaged youth throughout Georgia. With your help, we can inaugurate new program offerings that bottle the joy and wonder of learning and continue to serve our community. We will devote ourselves to evolving as a living lab whose lush grounds teach nature enthusiasts and passive visitors alike about the beauty, role and sustainable importance of the natural world around us.
We are a “theme” park, and our “theme” is nature.
Won’t you help us protect and develop this theme? Your donation to our Annual Fund will immediately impact our community and help educate those who will make tomorrow’s critical decisions about our world. Together we can guarantee that they have a place to learn important lessons in a setting that is a place of respite and relaxation as well as education.