Christmas came early for the Stokes Nature Center when, on Friday, the center became an insulated building, allowing operation to extend into colder and hotter weather.
“We did this all with an eye towards us being able to offer a greater diversity of programs to more people of different ages throughout the year,” said Kendra Penry, the executive director of Stokes Nature Center. “It also helps reduce our heating and cooling costs, which frees up funding for other new programs.”
Funding for the insulation project came from the 22nd annual Light Up The Night Gala on Nov. 9. The event highlighted the history of the center and the recent progress as well as raising funds for future endeavors through a silent auction.
Penry said the community really stepped up to make this project to insulate the center happen.
“We know that there is always something that we can be learning but we also know that there is something we can be offering because our community is growing and we hope that we can grow with it,” Penry said.
Over 6,000 visitors came through the center in 2019 and thousands more participated in the various programs including Canyon Conversations and Nature Tales, which are programs that look at the surrounding environment with the help of local experts and professors.
Looking to the new year, Penry said they are thinking about a complete renovation of the center to create an even more dynamic space.
She said adding insulation is just one step in making the center more comfortable and accessible for the thousands of visitors they expect next year.
“I hope to make the center versatile so every time a visitor comes they will be able to learn something new,” Penry said.