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A spirit that is not afraid

Kreher Preserve provides the community with a chance to connect with nature

<p>Children cross a creek at the&nbsp;Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve and Nature Center in Auburn, Ala.</p>

Children cross a creek at the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve and Nature Center in Auburn, Ala.

The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center is located ten minutes from main campus and offers a variety of opportunities for Auburn students and community members. First donated to Auburn University in 1993, the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, was opened to the community in 2008 and renamed as the KPNC in 2015.

With over one hundred acres of forested land, six miles of walking trails and outdoor shelters the center provides a place to relax and unwind or get involved with the outdoors. 

Michael Buckman, manager at KPNC, spoke about the relaxing environment.

"It is such a peaceful place to walk into the woods, set up a hammock, hear the squirrels and the birds...and there is cell service over the whole property so you don't have to worry about being disconnected," Buckman said. 

Natural features include a pond, butterfly garden, waterfall and a nature playground.

KPNC hosts many events including, "Awesome Amphibians," "Nature Art Series" and "In the Garden with Cyndi" that allows those interested to participate in activities outdoors and learn something new.

An events calendar can be found on their website and is updated regularly. The most recent event, Astronomy Night, was reschedule to March 4 after inclement weather postponed the original date.

The KPNC collaborates with organizations such as the office of sustainability, the school of forestry, ROTC and various clubs and groups to provide a welcoming space for general gatherings or specific needs.

The School of Forestry recently received funding from the state of Alabama for Cross laminated timber development and research. CLT is a more sustainable and eco-friendly building material than concrete and steel. 

These funds are being utilized to build an Environmental Education Building this spring at the preserve that is predicted to be completed by the end of 2022.  

The diverse opportunities at KPNC allows room for students to volunteer. Whether students are interested in educational programming or facilities maintenance there are ways to get involved. 

It is also a site for those volunteering through IMPACT. Any student interested in volunteering can find more information at the KPNC website and apply in their areas of interest.  

Grace Jones | Community writer

Grace Jones, graduate student in veterinary medicine, is a writer for the Auburn Plainsman 

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