KPNC and City of Auburn to Host Fall Family Fun Day

2015 Fall-Family-Fun-Day


Bring the entire family out to the Preserve for a day in the woods! On Saturday, September 19 the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center and the City of Auburn / Auburn Parks and Recreation will host Fall Family Fun Day from 10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. Enjoy a day of family-friendly activities like face painting, music, storytelling by the Auburn Public Library, a fall themed craft for kids, decorating hay bales and nature hikes lead by Preserve staff naturalists! The Discovery Hikes will introduce your family to plants and wildlife living in our area.

Food and refreshments will be available for purchase from local food vendors during the event. Families will also be able to pose for and purchase portraits with JRogers Photography at a cost of $10 for a 5×7 print. This event is sponsored by the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau and is FREE to the public.

The Kreher Preserve is located at 222 College Street, highway147 near highway 280 and the AU Fisheries. For more information, please contact either the Kreher Preserve by visiting, email to, or calling (334) 844 – 8091 or the City of Auburn / Auburn Parks and Recreation at, emailing Ann Bergman at, or calling (334) 501 – 2936.

KPNC to Host Alabama Coastal Foundation Outreach Dinner

2015 CTYC Auburn Facebook Graphic- Sized


On Thursday, October 22, the Alabama Coastal Foundation (ACF) is providing an exciting way for people in the Auburn area to enjoy some excellent food while learning about efforts to protect Alabama’s coastal environment. All area residents are invited to the third annual “Connect to Your Coast” event that evening. This is the first time the event will take place at Auburn University’s Kreher Preserve & Nature Center (2222 North College Street, Auburn 36830).

The event begins at 5:30pm and people are invited to come anytime before 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through the Alabama Coastal Foundation’s website ( or that night at the Kreher Preserve. Ticket price includes a meal from Moe’s Original BBQ. All proceeds from the event will be split between ACF and the Kreher Preserve. Jamie Anderson, the Nature Center’s Communications & Marketing Director says, “We are delighted to have ACF hold their outreach event at the Kreher Preserve which is a fitting place to learn about our state’s diverse environment.”

“Alabama plays a vital role in the Gulf of Mexico which produces 40 percent of all seafood in the contiguous 48 states and supports a $20 billion tourist industry. In addition, we are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and an estuary system rich in biodiversity. I hope that people will attend this gathering to learn what they can do to protect our coastal environment,” said ACF Executive Director Mark Berte.

The Alabama Coastal Foundation’s mission is to improve and protect Alabama’s coastal environment through cooperation, education and participation. Founded in 1993, the ACF brings together diverse interests to facilitate responsible environmental decision-making. The organization pursues practical solutions to conservation challenges in a non-adversarial manner and is dedicated to partner with businesses, local government and other non-profits to achieve common ground solutions to our environmental problems.

The ACF uses an education-based approach to conservation: to find the solution, you must understand the problem. The ACF’s education programs include Gulf Coast Bay Buddy (first through third grades), the Coastal Kid’s Quiz (which is designed for fifth graders), Mobile Bay Estuary Corps (a middle school program for students who are interested in environmental science as a career path), and CASL: the Coastal Alabama Service Learning program for high school students. To learn more about our programs, become a member, or volunteer your time, visit the web site:

“Connect to Your Coast, Auburn” will take place on Thursday, October 22 from 5:30pm until 7:30pm at the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve (Kreher Preserve) located at 2222 North College Street in Auburn.

In an attempt to broaden outreach efforts, the ACF is using social networks to let people know about this event.  People who use that technology are invited to engage in that work through the following mediums—

Facebook CTYC Auburn Event Page:
Facebook Organization Page:
Twitter Handle: @AlabamaCoastal

Kreher Preserve Hosts Honey Bee Educational Program

The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center, an outreach program of Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, recently hosted Honey Bees!, its third program in the annual series, Science on Saturdays, on July 25th at the nature center.

Honey%20dripMr. Raleigh Jones, former president of the Saugahatchee Beekeepers Association, with several other area bee keepers and preserve staff, presented a fascinating overview of honey bees and bee keeping. Donning beekeeping protective clothing, Mr. Jones followed up the program with a hike to the preserve’s honey bee demonstration area where he showed the crowd of fifty the inner workings of a bee hive. Attendees were able to sample honey from the Kreher Preserve hives and products made with locally harvested honey were available for sale.

Jennifer Lolley, nature center administrator, shared this quote from the USDA-ARS website to illustrate why honey bees are so important to our ecosystems and food production. “Bee pollination is responsible for more than $15 billion in increased crop value each year. About one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination.” Statistics estimate the total number of managed honey bee colonies has decreased from 5 million in the 1940s to only 2.5 million today.

bee%20keeping%20supplies%20foregroundIn addition to the preserve’s honey bee demonstration area and annual programs like Science on Saturdays, the KPNC regularly teaches a program called What’s the Buzz about Bees and Pollination to approximately 1,000 area students each year. Lolley states, “It is vital for food production and our environment, that we understand the impacts of our landscaping and gardening practices and how they can support the honey bee or contribute to its decline.”

Alavalapati Named AU’s Dean of School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences

AlavalapatiAUBURN UNIVERSITY — Following a national search, Janaki Alavalapati, head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech, has been named dean of Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, effective May 27.

“Dr. Alavalapati has an outstanding record of accomplishments in a range of disciplines, including forest resources, the environment and new energy solutions, as well as a wealth of experience with national and international governmental agencies,” said Auburn University Provost Timothy Boosinger. “We look forward to working with him as we continue to build the academic, research and outreach programs of our School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.”

Alavalapati has served as a professor and department head in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment since 2008. Previously, he was a faculty member in the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation from 1998 to 2008.

“I am delighted and honored to have been chosen as the dean of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences,” Alavalapati said. “With world class faculty, staff and students, and the significance of forests, wildlife and natural resources to the economic and employment fabric of Alabama, and unwavering support of stakeholders and alumni, the school has a great potential to grow. I look forward to dedicating my efforts to building upon the strong programs that already exist in the school.”

Alavalapati succeeds interim Dean Graeme Lockaby, who will resume his position of associate dean of research in the school.

Alavalapati has a doctorate in forest resource economics and a master’s degree in rural sociology, both from the University of Alberta, Canada, and he earned master’s degrees in botany and forestry from universities in India. He has published more than 200 publications and made more than 145 professional presentations relating to forests and natural resources.

His awards include University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State in 2008 and International Union of Forest Research Organization’s Scientific Achievement Award in 2010.

Alavalapati serves as an editorial board member of “Forest Policy and Economics” and “Outdoor Recreation and Tourism” journals and as the policy chair for the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs. As the chair or co-chair, Alavalapati has advised 28 graduate students.

Since 2011, as a senior fellow of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas at the U.S. Department of State, Alavalapati has helped Belize, Guyana and Brazil with issues relating to sustainable forestry and natural resources management. In 2007-2008, as a Jefferson Science Fellow, he served as a senior advisor for International Energy Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C.

KPNC Gratefully Acknowledges Current Support

The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve was endowed to the Auburn University as an outreach program of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Though this relationship has allowed the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center (KPNC) to continue its evolution as an important resource withiFFbutterflyprogramn East Central Alabama region for outdoor recreation and environmental education, the preserve remains heavily dependent on grants and private donations for its operations.

In this spirit, we recognize those who provide this vital support to the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center in pursuit of its mission to foster a sense of appreciation and understanding of our natural environment, particularly in our youth. Together we pledge to “Leave No Child Inside.”

Please join us in our appreciation of the KPNC’s current volunteers, members, donors, sponsors and partners who have supported the important work of the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center with their annual contributions.


To inquire about volunteering or becoming a member of the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center, visit the website to join or contact KPNC staff at (334) 844-8091, or email ( For private or corporate giving, please contact Sharon Tatum, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences development coordinator, at (334) 844-1983, or via email at (


Science on Saturdays, Honey Bees, July 25th


Join nature center staff and local beekeepers on Saturday, July 25th, at 10:00 a.m. for the 3rd program of the 2015 Science on Saturdays series, Honey Bees! We all love that sweet golden honey that this amazing insect produces, but did you know that the honey bee is largely responsible for much of our crop pollination? After this interesting program we will hike out to the preserve hives and watch beekeepers at work.

Admission is $4 for members and $5 for non-members. Pre-registration is not required.  Members may present a program pass for free admission for up to 2 adults and 3 children. New members who join July 25th may choose to redeem a pass for this event. Membership contributions support operations, maintenance and programs.

The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, just north of the AU Fisheries complex. Email or call 334-844-8091 for more information. Canceled in the event of rain.

Fall Forest Friends Registration Begins 8/3


This award-winning program is a unique educational experience for pre-school children and their parents that incorporates hands-on activities with nature and environmental awareness. This six-week session begins Tuesday, 9/15 and Friday, 9/18 from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Session fee is $45 per child. Membership with the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center at the Magnolia level ($35) or above is required. Playdate and registration will be held on August 3 at the nature playground from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.. Registration forms can be downloaded beginning August 3 or you may request forms at

The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, just north of the AU Fisheries complex. Email or call 334-844-8091 for more information.

Auburn Plainsman Showcases KPNC’s Ecology Camp

The Auburn Plainsman’s Multimedia Editor, Kris Sims, showcased the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center’s Summer Ecology Camp on its website June 12th. The video caption states, ” Junior Rangers at the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve & Nature Center. Here, campers learn about the responsibilities of park/wilderness rangers, including outdoor rescue/survival skills. This year, they get to practice archery, build arts and craft, and learn about flight.”

We are very appreciative of the support of our local media and hope that you enjoy this fun clip all about flight!

2nd Annual S’more Fun with Mom, A Hit With Area Families


2015 Smore Fun - 3Co-hosted with the City of Auburn, the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center held its 2nd annual S’more Fun with Mom event in honor of Mother’s Day on May 7 and 8. With crickets chirping and lightning bugs twinkling, mothers and sons shared a festive evening that included a nature hike, craft, cookout dinner, roasting marshmallows for s’mores, and storytelling.

“I heard about the event last year and knew that I wanted to take my son this year,” said attendee Karen Burton. “I found out about it again this year and think it’s a really unique event and decided that it would be something fun for my son Joey and me, because he loves science and is very nature oriented,” she added.

Over 50 mother and son pairs attended the program each night; enjoying the outdoors while learning interesting facts about the local flora and fauna during a naturalist-led nature hike through the KPNC that included a hands-on learning experience with some of the “critters” that call the preserve home. After a cookout dinner, the mother and sons visited the covered pavilion to build a picture frame and sit for a keepsake portrait.2015 Smore Fun - 4

Much of the evening was spent around the campfire enjoying the fresh evening air while roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. “I never thought I would use a fire pit until tonight,” said Karen Burton. “Joey has loved it and we have had so much fun making s’mores together!” she said.

To conclude the evening’s activities, storyteller Lee Piskorz captivated the audience gathered at the outdoor amphitheater with her animated tales of fun characters learning positive life lessons of courage and loyalty. “This is my first year getting to tell stories at this event and I have really enjoyed it!” said Ms. Piskorz.

According to KPNC outreach administrator, Jennifer Lolley, “It is wonderful to see these mothers and sons having this time together in the outdoors. It really does create a bonding memory for them to share long after the night is over.” Lolley went on to state, “We really have to credit our sponsors: Auburn Opelika Tourism Bureau, Publix at Cary Creek, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, and JRogers Photography, for making this fun event possible for our community. The fact that tickets sold out for both nights tells us that these types of experiences are important for families, and the support from our sponsors confirms they absolutely agree!”

2015 Smore Fun - 2The Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, a community outreach program of Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, was established in 1993 by a gift of land from Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner. The 120-acre property features five miles of hiking trails, amphitheater, pavilion and nature playground. The preserve offers ample parking, restrooms and drinking fountains and is open to the public daily at no charge from sunrise to sunset.

Candid event photos available for download via Facebook.

Contacts: Jennifer Lolley, (334) 707-6512, ( or Jamie Anderson, (334) 703-2953, (

Science on Saturdays, Turtles! Scheduled for June 6th


Join us Saturday, June 6th, at 10:00 a.m. for the 2nd program in the 2015 Science on Saturdays series, Turtles! Alabama has the most turtles of any state due to our warm climate and abundant water. Mr. Stan Arington, of Auburn High School, will introduce you to many of our local species of turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Learn also about the fascinating sea turtles that visit the Alabama coast.

Admission is $4 for members and $5 for non-members. Pre-registration is not required.  Members may present a program pass for free admission for up to 2 adults and 3 children. New members who join may choose to redeem a pass for this event. Membership contributions support operations, maintenance and programs.

The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, just north of the AU Fisheries complex. Email or call 334-844-8091 for more information. Canceled in the event of rain.