Stokes Nature Center to hold a grand re-opening

Kendra Penry the executive director of Stokes Nature Center stands in front of the remodeled building on Tues, April 20. Volunteers are preparing the building for an open house on Thursday April 22.

LOGAN – The Stokes Nature Center (SNC) is excited to announce the re-opening of their renovated facility in Logan Canyon on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22. SNC is proud to be the steward of the historical Forest Service cabin where the nature center is housed, and this most recent remodeling ensures its continued success and accessibility.

Stoke Nature Center volunteer Kate Twohig removes residue from the new wood floor as part of the remodeling project Tuesday, April 20.

This year’s visitors will find a more open building with a new wood floor and a more open environment with remodeled restrooms. There is also a new retaining wall to prevent spring flooding, and there is a welcome area that are easier to clean and sanitize.

We moved one wall and took out another to give it a more open feel,” said Kendra Penry, the executive director of SNC. “We also plan to have six eight-foot panels on the walls where we can put local art, both paintings and photographs.”

She said one of the panels will have a history of Logan Canyon and Cache Valley. Watercolorist Liesl Cannon may have some of her watercolors hanging from her upcoming book illustrated for SNC.

“The book she is illustrating is called ‘The Mystery of Lucy’s Missing Lantern’,” she said. “The book will be written in English, Spanish and Somali.”

They did have plans to remodel the building but when they had to close down due to COVID it seemed like a good time to do the work, so they fast-forwarded the project.

Along with so many other lessons, 2020 reminded us how important nature is. Everyone needed the healing, peace, and engagement that nature provides, and we know we need to meet people where they are,” Penry said. “SNC serves all people, regardless of income, age, or any other factor and inspire them to better care for our natural world so that we can continue to enjoy it for generations to come.”

Volunteers take break while removing glue from the new floor on Tuesday, April 20.

The facility has seen a steady growth in the number of program participants and nature center visitors for years. They served more than 20,000 people in 2020, a more than 60 percent increase over 2019.

“We have a lot of children come here,” she added. “Although the walk is long, the children enjoy the walk and even come in their snow boots during the winter.”

While visitation right now will be by invitation or appointment only for the short-term, in order to protect the health of the community, SNC plans to re-open for public visitation in late summer of 2021. In the meantime, they will continue to offer a variety of free and low-cost programs for small groups, most based out of the nature center. These include a variety of summer camps, adult workshops such as plein air watercolor and building bee boxes, scientific illustration classes, and social bubble hikes.

We are so grateful for the community support that made this renovation possible. Support came from Utah Arts and Museums, Val and Sue Grant, Paul and Mary Holden, Valley View Granite, Bundy Flooring America, and the George and Delores Eccles Foundation, as well as the countless individuals that gave what they could,” Penry said. “Every donation was invaluable in helping us to preserve this space so that all who live or visit Logan Canyon and Cache Valley can continue to be inspired to protect our beautiful natural world.”

If you would like to see the renovated building, visit www.logannature.org to reserve a time for you and your small group to visit. Public hours will be announced in late summer.

A silhouette of bird is attached to a window at the Stokes Nature Center to help children learn about forest animals on Tuesday, April 20.

The Allen and Alice Stokes Nature Center is a nonprofit nature center established in 1997 that envisions a future where people of all ages appreciate and become better stewards of the natural world.

Stokes Nature Center is the official educational permittee of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and the USDA-designated Logan Canyon Children’s Forest. Current programs include the nature preschool, summer camps, school programs, Nature Tales, Canyon Conversations, Canyon Jams, and more.

 

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