Dodge Nature Center launches $40M campaign for preservation

Dodge Nature Center launches $40M campaign for preservation Photo: courtesy of the Dodge Nature Center, Twitter.

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: September 17, 2020 07:19 PM
Created: September 17, 2020 04:24 PM

A West St. Paul nature center is launching a $40 million campaign to update trails and gathering spaces as well as increase preservation efforts.

The Dodge Nature Center & Preschool announced the "Nourishing Everyone's Need for Nature" campaign Thursday.

Through the campaign, the nature center plans to update its trails, gathering areas and historical buildings; expand its educational outreach; make the preschool more affordable for lower-income families; expand staff to help with programming demands and ensure that the nature center's grounds continue to be free to the public.

"The experience of nature is a vital social determinant of health and well-being," Dodge Executive Director Jason Sanders said in a statement. "Connection to nature is proven to improve physical health, reduce risk of obesity, improve relationships, reduce stress and aggression, and enhance academic performance. The significant increase in outdoor activity in this time of COVID-19 demonstrates our collective — and growing — need for nature."

The center also announced that $28 million has already been pledged to the campaign.

Additional information about the "Nourishing Everyone's Need for Nature" campaign can be found here.

The Thomas Irvine Dodge Nature Center was founded in 1967 as one of the first nature centers in the state and one of the first to provide environmental education.

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