The Miracle That Is Warner
Updated: Sep 21, 2019
Driving into Warner Nature Center one crisp, bright, winter morning, I was awed. The sun was glistening through the birch trees, snow clinging to branches, white all around. It was so quiet. I wanted to pull over and take in all the emotional and mental wellness surrounding me. But I was on my way to sign in for trail guiding. I would be able to share this with the school children.
Warner is a special place in so many ways. We are all a part of nature, so it is important to understand how we are all connected. That connectiveness is such a large part of Warner. It is why I applied as a Trail Guide. It is a privilege to work with school children to help them appreciate nature and our role in it. It is a privilege to work on the public days to share our mission with families. I am honored to work with the naturalists and gain from their knowledge and insights.
I am here because of the programs. I continue to stay because of the staff, their continuing opportunities for growth and learning, and the many volunteer opportunities available.
The naturalists are dedicated and remarkable, individually and as a group. I have learned so much from them, from the classroom presentations and activities with the school children to the enrichment activities for the volunteers. The naturalists provide training and support. They listen to our feedback and value our contributions. This is a cooperative community.
Volunteers have many opportunities to contribute to Warner. I was asked if I would like to do a photo record of sections of prairie and forest foliage. It has been a wonderful opportunity. I hike the designated trails taking pictures. I now pay more attention to the plants. It is interesting to note the times of the year they appear, the variety and diversity across Warner.
The bog project was started three years ago by a volunteer who designed it as his capstone project for his Minnesota Master Water Steward Certification. I joined the project in its second year. What a fascinating and rewarding venture. Again, it is an opportunity to learn and contribute. To study wetlands is both a responsibility and a privilege.
Many such opportunities abound at Warner. We have a sugar bush and gather maple sap to boil into syrup each spring. Our Frog and Toad Survey contributes to the knowledge bank on these critters. The honey house educates children on the importance of bees and pollination. All fall the school children are shown the process of bird banding and its importance. Any many, many more….
Warner offers us the advantage of being part of a culture of learning. It enhances our emotional, physical and mental wellness. We are all a part of the Warner community with a sense of purpose tied to our natural surroundings. We give back by providing education to our youth and to the families who enjoy our public days. As volunteers, we are a part of this professional team.
This story was shared by:
Minnesota Master Naturalist
Warner Nature Center Volunteer
Bog Project Researcher
Trail Photo Recorder
Maple Syrup Boiler
Frog and Toad Survey Participant