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Give to Annual Appeal


What is an annual appeal and why is it so important?

The Nature Center is fortunate to have many community partners that help to support the work of our environmental education and community programs division. These dollars are critical to our success, but are designated specifically for the delivery of programs. As a result, every year CNC reaches out to our friends to ask for support through our annual appeal. The dollars that are donated to the Nature Center through the annual appeal represent the most important funds we receive all year…operating dollars.


What is so critical about operating dollars?

“Operating dollars” are very scarce and very critical to the non-profit world. These are the dollars that keep the Center functioning. Operating dollars pay for food for our wildlife, buy the equipment needed to keep the gardens and trails safe for our visitors, purchase the artifacts for the Nature Exchange and the bio-buggies that excite the curiosity of young visitors. Without adequate operating dollars, things fall apart. Literally. After the staff has raised 65% of the Center’s annual income through the programs they develop and deliver, we are still faced with needing additional funds to cover the basic necessities. This is where we need YOUR HELP.

What are these programs that we depend on YOU to support?

• Wildlife

Our community has told us in no uncertain terms that the service we provide for local wildlife is critical to our mission and is the most popular element of their visits, especially for youth. Currently, we house more than 110 rehabilitated, non-releasable native animals for the public to see and learn about. In addition, we accepted and cared for 426 injured animals this past year and answered 2,959 calls seeking advice. There are no public dollars available for this service. Our wildlife component is supported 100% by operating dollars. We need your help to continue this service!

• Upkeep of the gardens and trails.

Our wonderful butterfly gardens and terraces of native plants serve as an important education component for local citizens striving to understand how they can maintain a beautiful and plentiful garden while being eco-friendly. Our trails offer a quiet refuge for visitors and serve as a learning laboratory for thousands of school children each year. Our gardens and trails are supported 100% through critical operating dollars!

• A gathering place for local civic organizations and other non-profit groups.

We are blessed to have several spaces that lend themselves to meetings for groups of 50-150. This space is in high demand. Many civic groups and non-profits request use of these spaces free or at reduced rates and we accommodate this need as a community partner whenever possible, underwriting the discounts with our own operating dollars. If you have benefited from this policy or believe it benefits our community, your support would be so appreciated!

• New focus on the STEM learning initiative (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math).

We have a deep commitment to our local schools. For more than two decades, the Education division of the Center has created and delivered natural science programs for students of all ages. These field studies open young minds to the wonders of nature and awaken a natural curiosity that inspires life-long learning. Our youth are in critical need of this instruction. As I am certain you have read recently, U.S. students are falling behind the rest of the world in mathematics and science. We are working with local school systems to create and deliver education programs that will help bring clarity and enthusiasm to both teaching science and learning science in grades K-12. Due to budget cuts, our local schools lack the necessary funds to support this out-of-classroom experiential learning. Much of this work is underwritten with Center operating dollars and you can help by sending us a donation today!