Updated: Oct 5, 2019
This week has been busy with meetings that involve Warner Nature Center. To start off the week, on Tuesday, October 1st, the SMM President & CEO Alison Rempel Brown and SMM Director of Volunteer Services & Program Delivery Ronda Maurer visited Warner for a question/answer session with Warner volunteers. Alison shared a brief overview of the timeline leading up to the notification that Warner would close its doors on December 31, 2019. She stated that SMM had done everything in their control to prevent the closing. There were many questions from the volunteers, to which Alison could not provide answers leaving many attendees confused, frustrated, and sad.
However, some positive news that came from the meeting was that the WNC staff is continuing to show us how spectacular and caring they are with everything Warner. They are diligently working to find new suitable homes for the current animals at Warner. The SMM is working with WNC staff on cleaning out and finding new homes for all the items in the center. Alison Brown says that nothing is planned to be dumped in the trash and everything will either be absorbed/recycled by another nature center, into a different program, or given a new appropriate home. The WNC staff is also working on preserving the scientific research that has been collected over the past 50 years by compiling the research and creating an official report to be given to respectable parties that are interested in the data.
Please, if you haven't yet, thank the past and current WNC staff for everything they have done to make Warner special. It would not be the gem it is today without their dedication and hard work.
We Love Warner's Wednesday Meeting:
We have sent a letter to Greg McNeely to express our willingness to work with the Manitou Fund to make a positive transition into the future with the Warner Nature Center.
We want to help with the vision for Warner. We believe that collectively we can contribute our experience, knowledge, and expertise gained from thousands of combined years at this award-winning nature center. We are confident that we have the skills to help with and ease a transition to maintain the relationships of the schools and the support of the community at large. We want to minimize the impact on the children, the community, and the land.
The letter was sent by email to Greg McNeely and the other board members on Thursday, October 3rd. The end of the letter contained a list of names who are in support of We Love Warner’s quest to work with the Manitou Fund. The list is not all-inclusive but still showed strong support from volunteers.
We Love Warner has also sent a survey out to teachers that have taken students to the Warner Nature Center. We currently have received 65 responses from teachers. They are truly magical to read, and they completely capture the passion for Warner. We are working on compiling the responses into an official report for the Manitou Fund, the Science Museum, and for WNC Staff. If you would also like to see the responses, please reply to this update email or WeLoveWarner@gmail.com.
“We have been EXTREMELY Satisfied with all of our trips to Warner Nature Center! It is one of the highlights of all of our students’ elementary academic career! They love how much they learn and how much they get to interact with nature. I still have students came back 10 years later to tell me how much they enjoy our field trip to WNC. Releasing birds and exploring the bog are some of their greatest school memories!” – A comment from a teacher at Starr Elementary in New Richmond
Something for you:
At our Wednesday meeting, we agreed to start a petition for the community at large to show their support in continuing Warner’s legacy of building lasting relationships with people and the natural world. Be the first to express your support to CONTINUE Warner’s legacy by signing and sharing the petition.
Continue to share your stories with us! If you have a story or memory to share about the Warner Nature Center, please visit our website. We would love to share your story with the world. Have you visited the center? Did you have an experience? What was it like?
May Township Board Meeting October 3rd:
Lastly, the May Township Board’s monthly meeting was on Thursday, October 3rd. A couple of We Love Warner volunteers attended the meeting to hear what the board knows about the land. We learned that the Warner Nature Center’s land is zoned as conservation but there are zero conservation easements. This means that the land could be rezoned in the future for residential use.
We have been added to a list to receive updates if a proposal is brought up in the future to change the zoning. However, there is no need to worry about this happening right now. Below you will find links from the May Township for your convenience.
Get Involved w/ We Love Warner
Our next meeting is Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 at 4 PM at the Stillwater Public Library - 3rd Floor. Please join us if you feel you have something to add to our efforts moving forward or want to sit in and listen during our meeting.
Thank you, Jaci Christenson, for sending us photos of your nephew to be used by WeLoveWarner.org. It is greatly appreciated!