Warner Staff are Leaders in Minnesota's Professional Naturalist Community
Warner Nature Center is so much more than a building and trails, and it is worth protecting the valuable assets that staff has created and improved upon over the years including:
site-specific engaging lesson plans,
professional regional leadership
teacher and parent and community trust
knowledge and documentation of the biodiversity on site
a robust volunteer program.
Protecting these assets is common sense, and it also makes financial sense.
It is my great hope that Warner Nature Center does not close, or at the very least, that the staff are pulled in to the planning to help create a new vision for the site that stands in line with Warner’s mission statement, and does not lose the majority of the aforementioned assets already in place. These assets of lesson plans, leadership, trust, partnerships, and biodiversity knowledge can not be sold or purchased at any cost, but rather, need to be built carefully over time for a specific site. It would be a great mistake to lose these priceless things.
As a professional Naturalist networking with Warner staff, I have gained insights and inspiration from the many effective methods that Warner has implemented, and leadership they hold in the professional community! Warner staff are leadership stars among the professional Naturalist community in Minnesota, and Warner staff leadership greatly benefits the broad network of Nature Centers in Minnesota. Warner staff have been active leaders in the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA,) as well as the Minnesota Naturalists Association (MNA,) leading concurrent sessions, trainings, and holding board positions.
I will take this moment to personally appeal to the Manitou Fund; please help protect the important work that has been done on this site as a legacy honoring the Warner and the McNeely family. Closing the Nature Center in this manner does not honor all that this community has successfully created, but there could be a new way! A shift in the process! If you haven’t done this already, please consider pulling in Warner staff, and listening carefully to them to find ways to help protect these assets, while moving ahead with a new vision. The staff know what they are doing; they are respected leaders and professionals in Minnesota’s naturalist community, and they know how to effectively connect people to nature. I am confident you will find much more success with your new endeavor if you help protect these assets; you will be building the plans for a new vision on a very solid base.
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