LTE: More than a building and some trails
Letter to Editor in the Star Tribune by OAKLEY BIESANZ, ST. PAUL
The “good news” a recent editorial mentions, “Good news on Warner center’s fate” (Oct. 18), does not honor the priceless assets that are currently at risk of total loss unless a dramatic shift in this process occurs.
The Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center is much more than a building and trails, and it is worth protecting the valuable assets that staff have created over the years, including site-specific, engaging lesson plans; teacher, parent and community trust; partnerships and donors; knowledge and documentation of the biodiversity on site; professional statewide leadership; and a robust volunteer program.
Protecting these assets makes common sense and financial sense. They cannot be sold or purchased at any cost, but rather, need to be built carefully over time for a specific site.
There is still time for a shift in the process! Careful communication between the Manitou Fund and Warner staff, as soon as possible, is essential to help preserve these important assets that would also be elements of any new vision. The staff know what they are doing; they are respected leaders and professionals in Minnesota’s naturalist community and know how to effectively connect thousands of people to nature. I am confident the Manitou Fund will find more success if it begins shifting its strategy and starts working to protect these assets before they are lost forever. It will be building the plans for their new vision on a solid base.