AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The City of Auburn has pledged a five-to-one match for individual and corporate contributions of up to $50,000 for the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, a community outreach program for Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.
According to the agreement, the city is providing the grant in the form of matching funds in order to encourage community engagement and support for this resource for outdoor recreation and education.
“We realize the enjoyment and educational value that our citizens receive from our parks such as Kiesel Park and Town Creek,” said Becky Richardson, director of Auburn Parks and Recreation. “The Forest Ecology Preserve provides these same qualities to our community. The partnership between the City of Auburn and the Forest Ecology Preserve will be a win for both parties and our citizens.”
Spanning more than 120 acres, the preserve features more than five miles of trails through various habitats, educational displays and signage, a nature playground, an amphitheater and pavilion space for programs. The preserve plans to use contributions and the city’s community grant to help keep up with the maintenance and improvements needed to support its 20,000 annual visitors.
“We are so happy to have this support from the City of Auburn leadership and the Parks and Recreation department,” said Jennifer Lolley, outreach administrator at the preserve. “It is wonderful that they recognize how unique and beneficial we are to local schools and our community.”
Lolley said that priorities include indoor classroom space and additional restroom facilities on the north side of the property, as well as funding for part-time staff.
The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve was established in 1993 by a gift of land from Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner. It covers 120 acres and has five miles of hiking trails, an amphitheater and a pavilion. The preserve, including the nature playground, is open daily to the public at no charge.
Individuals, companies and organizations wishing to make financial donations to benefit the Forest Ecology Preserve as part of this matching-funds program can give online, or through the other ways of giving to Auburn University. Charitable donations such as this, because the Auburn University Foundation receives them on the university’s behalf, are tax deductible.
For more information about the Forest Ecology Preserve, go to https://fp.auburn.edu/preserve/.
(Contributed by Jessica Nelson.)