Our new Executive Director, John Myers, is just getting his feet “wet” in his new position, but he already has some observations to share.

Vernon middle schoolers try out the labyrinth after helping with prairie planting

Vernon middle schoolers try out the labyrinth after helping with prairie planting

Today marks the end of my fourth week at the Nature Center as Executive Director.  During this time, it has become apparent the great love and respect people from all walks of life have for their interactions with nature.  From the fishermen in the early, foggy mornings, to the boisterous school groups, to those exploring the trails just before dusk, the Nature Center is a part of many peoples’ daily lives.

The outstanding welcome that I have received from staff, volunteers, and the community has been wonderful.  People love the Nature Center and all of the great experiences associated with the outdoors. 

Butterfly release

Naturalist Jan Aiels helps a young child release a monarch butterfly.

There have been two things that I have learned so far that I would like to share.

First, those who work, play, and volunteer at the Nature Center are very humble.  We often appreciate the simple joys in nature, and in life, without screaming our joy at the top of the mountain (or in our case, the top of Bena Brook!)

Second, the Nature Center is a little known gem within this community.  I have often heard, “The Nature Center is so far off the beaten path” or “I’ve heard of Indian Creek, but I really don’t know much about the Center.”

I was curious just how far “off the beaten path” the Nature Center actually was so I ran the mileage from a few popular areas.

Marion – 5 miles
Downtown Cedar Rapids – 5 miles
Lindale Mall – 6 miles
Mount Vernon – 10 miles       
I-380 & Hwy 30 – 10 miles
Coralville – 30 miles

The Souzas enjoy a twilight walk in the prairie labyrinth

The Souzas enjoy a twilight walk in the prairie labyrinth

For many people, a trip to the Nature Center takes no longer than a trip to the mall or grocery store.  Yet, a visit to the Center can be so much more rewarding.  The Nature Center serves the entire Creative Corridor area.  My family and I often travel to the Iowa Children’s Museum in Coralville for an afternoon of fun.  There should be no reason why people from all over the Corridor can’t travel to the Nature Center for that same afternoon of fun.

As I continue to learn all about the great work of Indian Creek Nature Center, I’d challenge each of you to share the good news about the Nature Center.  Share with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues the benefits of a membership, the joy of walking outdoors, or the simple pleasures of an afternoon by the river. 

Our success depends on you.

 

 

 

 

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