During the bitter cold spell this week, all three floors of our environmental education center were flooded. Our loss is great, but we are grateful to our community and dedicated to our mission.

In addition to floors and ceilings on all levels of the building, we lost many furnishings, equipment and educational supplies. This flood was a devastating loss for our organization, yet we are grateful for our community that has already come together in our time of need. Among the most selfless were the volunteers who worked late into the night on Christmas Eve with buckets and mops in hand.

Our buildings will likely remain closed for months, but nature is still open. Our grounds, where biodiversity thrives and people flourish, will remain open daily dawn to dusk.

Families, hikers, birders and school groups love to visit our hawk watch area during migrations when hundreds of warblers, raptors and vireos can be spotted. In our meadows you can find caterpillars and feasting birds. A rare Western Kingbird was sighted this year–a first in the county. Down at the stream, beavers are busy building their dam, where visitors can marvel at felled trees.

A generous donor has pledged to match donations (up to $20,000) until Dec. 31. We hope you will consider a gift to sustain our work, fund our recovery from this devastating loss and help connect more than 41,000 people to nature. Don’t forget  — 12/31 is the deadline for 2022 tax-deductible donations.