Group ~ Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center (KPNC) is a for-purpose, nature-based outreach facility of Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment. The KPNC mission is to promote stewardship for nature through environmental education, recreation, and outreach programs for the communities of Auburn, Opelika, Lee County, and the entire region.
KPNC is open to the public seven days a week, free of charge. The center hosts more than 30,000 visitors each year, where they enjoy facilities that include a pavilion, an amphitheater, a nature-based playground, a shaded picnic area, water fountains, restrooms, and two parking lots offering easy access to all the amenities. With almost 120 acres of preserved and managed native forest, KPNC offers visitors over six miles of hiking and running trails through beautiful woodlands and countless features such as a pond with a boardwalk and small pier, 1800s-style homestead site with barn and organic garden, butterfly garden, wildflower meadow, several outdoor classrooms, benches with scenic overlooks and many interpretive and educational kiosks throughout.
Keeping with its mission, the KPNC fosters a greater appreciation and understanding of our environment with many nature-based programs such as discovery hikes and nature walks; school programs and youth campus; adult workshops and classes; educational exhibits; teaching gardens and demonstration sites; and wildlife study programs.
The KPNC School Program provides a diverse array of nature-based curricula for visiting school groups. Facilities available to students and teachers include outdoor classrooms, pavilions, an amphitheater, and a nature playground. The nature playground is a unique play space that offers children a rich, naturalistic experience complete with mounds, ditches, logs, tunnels, fallen trees, boulders, and creative structures, including a beaver lodge, tree house, and eagles’ nest.
Left to right: Michael Buckman, Cyndi Czerkawski, Kayla Wilson, Michelle Simpson, Emily Howe, Jennifer Lolley, and Sarah Crim