While growing up, Brad Lang was in effect a neighbor to the Nature Center, as his grandparents lived next to ICNC property. As a child, he was involved with Boy Scouts and spent a significant amount of time in nature with his father, hunting and fishing. “It gave me a tremendous respect and awe of the outdoors and all it has to offer.”
Brad had been active in the community and involved with other nonprofits when he was recruited by Geoff Eastburn to join the ICNC board of directors. During his board service (2005-2012) Brad learned much more about what the Nature Center does, and became involved with programs, event volunteering, and more. “When introduced formally to ICNC, it was a natural fit given my youth, as the Nature Center takes understanding nature to the next level and demonstrates how it enhances your life. Just being around the organization has opened my eyes to even more. It reminds me how important it is to get our youth engaged in Mother Nature as they increasingly turn to indoor lifestyles.” In 2011 Brad shared his leadership skills by serving as president of the ICNC board of directors.
Following his volunteer board service, Brad became involved at ICNC professionally, as a founding partner of Solum Lang Architects, LLC, the firm that oversaw the design and creation of Amazing Space.“Though a huge honor — being selected as the architectural firm responsible for Amazing Space was thrilling — it also came with a huge sense of responsibility in not wanting to let anyone down. What a great project!” He found leading the construction of Iowa’s first Living Building Challenge certified building to be a life-changing undertaking the likes of which most architects never get to experience.
While Brad’s board service was during Emeritus Director Rich Patterson’s tenure, his Amazing Space adventure occurred primarily during current Executive Director John Myers’s tenure. Working closely with two ICNC organizational leaders gave Brad a unique perspective. “Though initially resistant to new leadership, direction, and change to an organization that had done things a certain way for a long time, I quickly came to the realization ICNC was moving in a positive way beyond what it had always been, while still honoring its past. This is what I’ve loved most — seeing this organization continue to thrive and get better and better.”
It seems fitting that after falling in love with nature so close to the Nature Center’s home in his youth, he’d be integral in building the Nature Center’s new home — a home which he describes as “a place to explore, learn, and love nature.”