Hello, Minnesota Master Naturalist Staff,
As you may have heard, after 50 years of excellence and hands-on-nature-experience for thousands of students, the award-winning Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center is closing on December 31, 2019. The closing of the Warner is devastating and leaves many connected parties (i.e staff, teachers, students, volunteers, etc.) feeling lost and abandoned. Some of you might even know some of the WNC staff directly or have been in contact with them in some way.
Here’s a little background on the situation:
For over 5 decades, the Science Museum of Minnesota and Manitou Fund (and its predecessor benefactors) have worked together to operate the Warner Nature Center. The Manitou Fund, a Minnesota nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, owns the land and Warner facilities and has provided the bulk of funding for the Warner’s operating budget. For the past many years, the parties have had a renewable, yearly partnership agreement. The Manitou Fund has elected NOT to renew their partnership agreement with the Science Museum, and it is set to expire at the end of the year. They want to press a “reset” button on the entire program and staff.
However, pressing a “reset button” on the entire program, staff, schools, and volunteers is NOT the way to transition into this new chapter at Warner. We are asking for your support in keeping the current legacy ALIVE.
The point of my email is to ask for your help in spreading the word about CONTINUING the Warner Nature Center’s legacy of helping people build lasting relationships with the natural world. And one of the ways we have come up with is starting a petition on Change.org for the community to express their support in Warner’s legacy. http://chng.it/zpyLZwWnkH
We are a group of Warner Nature Center Volunteers (WeLoveWarner.org) with experience ranging from 52 years to less than one year. Our backgrounds span a variety of industries, educational degrees, and skills. Many of us are Master Naturalists too! One thing we all have in common is that we all love Warner. It does not matter how long one has been there; it goes into our very hearts and soul.
Imagine seeing the joy on a child’s face as they go on a hike and learn first hand about the natural world. It would be unjust to lose such a valued treasure here in our own backyard. Warner is a magical place that is loved by many people, and you can see the magic in the face of a child who otherwise may never get to experience a hike in the woods. Please help save Warner’s integrity and mission.
With your help and your connections to others that love taking students outside, we hope to build our supporters. Please share the petition with your co-workers, students, friends, family, etc.
Please visit WeLoveWarner.org for more information.