Auburn University’s Kreher Preserve and Nature Center celebrates opening of new facility
The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center, an outreach program of Auburn University's College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, celebrated the grand opening of its Pond Pavilion on May 4. The event coincides with a yearlong celebration commemorating the 30th anniversary of the nature center in 2023.
Situated in the northern region of the 120-acre nature center, the new pavilion is accessible from the Farmville Road north entrance only a few miles from Auburn University’s campus. The structure, which offers a restroom and wood benches, will house many of the center’s educational programs and other activities focused on the nearby turtle pond, butterfly and vegetable gardens and historic homestead.
The pavilion will also serve as a rest stop for visitors who travel to the north section of the Kreher Preserve to enjoy its densely forested landscape and other natural features such as the hidden waterfall and creek. When not in use for center programs, the facility will be available to the community as a rental space for special events or other activities.
The grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting was coordinated by the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center with the assistance of Auburn’s Chamber of Commerce. Before cutting the ribbon to officially open the facility, Ron Anders Jr., mayor of the City of Auburn, gave a few remarks praising the nature center for its commitment to serving the community through environmental education.
"I'm thrilled to be here today to celebrate the grand opening of the Pond Pavilion at the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center," said Mayor Anders. "This beautiful new facility is a testament to the nature center's dedication to environmental education and conservation. I have no doubt it will become a cherished resource for the Auburn community and beyond."
Welcome remarks were given by Janaki Alavalapati, Emmett F. Thompson Dean of the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, who discussed the importance of the center’s mission to provide environmental education, outdoor recreation and outreach programs for the university and surrounding communities.
"We are thrilled to be here today to celebrate the grand opening of the Pond Pavilion at the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center," said Alavalapati. "This beautiful new addition to the nature center will provide visitors with an even more immersive experience and help us to further our mission of promoting conservation, education and research."
Other remarks were made by the F. Allen and Louise K. Turner Foundation Treasurer Brian Walker, Kreher Preserve and Nature Center Advisory Board President John Wild, Kreher Preserve and Nature Center Manager Michael Buckman and Educational Director Sarah Crim.
The multi-year construction effort was made possible by Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Construction and Design Building Science students, volunteers and several area businesses who donated services and materials for site preparation and construction, said Buckman.
"We are grateful for the support of the F. Allen and Louise K. Turner Foundation, who provided the seed funds for the project. Thanks to the generosity of many donors, the pavilion will be an incredible resource for our community, and we look forward to sharing it with visitors from near and far," said Buckman.
Contributors to the pavilion construction and grand opening include:
Auburn University McWhorter School of Building Science Service Learning Program
Auburn University Facilities Management
Building & Earth
Cutting Edge Lawn Service
Dilworth Development Inc.
Galik Plumbing LLC
Stacy Norman Architects
The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center was donated to Auburn University in 1993 and features six miles of walking trails, a nature playground, and several outdoor shelters for visitors. It is open to the public and is free to visit during regular hours of operation, sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. For more information about the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center and its programs, visit its website.
Submitted by: Allison Killingsworth
The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center and Auburn University's College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment celebrated the grand opening of its Pond Pavilion with Auburn Mayor Ron Anders Jr. on May 4.