Local Spotlight: Cincinnati Nature Center

This nonprofit wants to make sure that everyone can enjoy nature.

Four words sum up the mission of the Cincinnati Nature Center (CNC): Nature is for everyone. From protecting the land and wildlife within CNC to providing trails, educational programs and events for people of all ages, CNC welcomes thousands of nature enthusiasts each year. Tracy Smith, marketing manager for the Cincinnati Nature Center, shares with us a little about this nature education organization and community of people who enjoy and care about nature.

cincinnati nature center
Gold panning at the Cincinnati Nature Center

CNC is a mainstay in the area. How did it get started?

For many years, Stanley M. Rowe, Sr. had the vision of a wooded preserve where children would be taught to appreciate and understand the natural world. In 1965, his vision became a reality with the creation of the Cincinnati Nature Center. With the help of 12 dedicated and visionary naturalists, the 175-acre wooded estate of Carl and Mary Krippendorf in Milford, Ohio, was acquired. Two years later on April 16, 1967, the Nature Center opened to the public.

Conservation is a large part of your mission. Please tell us about your initiatives.

The mission of Cincinnati Nature Center is to inspire conservation through personal experiences, education and care for the land. Each year, our nonprofit organization welcomes thousands of nature enthusiasts from around the region and beyond to explore the 1,800 acres of forests, prairies, streams, ponds and wetlands that make up our two locations: Rowe Woods and Long Branch Farm & Trails. We also offer educational programming for children, teens, families and adults, and connect thousands more to nature through our online learning programs, social media and e-newsletters. Additionally, our Nature for All program provides low to no cost nature experiences to people from all across the Cincinnati area.

What programs do you offer for preschool and school-aged children?

We offer week-long CincyNature Spring Break Camp and Summer Camp, Children’s Saturday Programs in the spring and fall, a Nature Preschool, drop-in programs in our Nature PlayScape, and many other family and kid-friendly programs throughout the year.

You have an active volunteer program. How can people get involved in it? 

We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities to fit the volunteer’s interests and physical abilities. Anyone interested in volunteering can learn more and apply at cincynature.org/volunteer. We also have an active teen volunteer group. To learn more, visit nextinnature.org. 

Tell us about the fall and winter programs you have planned.

We have several programs coming up this fall, including Forager’s Fest, a perfect date-night event for parents, on September 15, and a Nature’s Candyland Adventure for ages 5 and up on October 28. Families won’t want to miss our Light in the Forest winter event in December, and we offer several maple tapping programs starting in January. To check for available programs, visit www.cincynature.org/things-to-do.

How can people support your work?

To support Cincinnati Nature Center, please consider becoming a member. You can learn more at cincynature.org/membership. Volunteering, becoming a donor or sponsor, renting one of our two historic homes for an event, and attending programs are also great ways to support our work.

Check out more fun at the Cincinnati Nature Center here!

 Cincinnati Nature Center is located at 4949 Tealtown Rd, Milford, OH 45150.

23sepAll Day24Great Outdoor Weekend at Cincinnati Nature Center

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