S’more Fun with Mom was a Hit!

S'more fun with mom at Kreher Preserve & Nature CenterThe Kreher Preserve and Nature Center (KPNC), alongside the City of Auburn, hosted the third annual S’more Fun with Mom outing on May 12 and 13. Mothers and sons shared an evening packed with arts and crafts, a cookout, hiking, roasting s’mores, and storytelling. The annual event is a Mother’s Day tradition for many families. Wendy Gray, assistant professor in Auburn University’s Department of Psychology, remarked “It is an event we look forward to each year. I appreciate the opportunity to have a night that is just for my son and I.”

The pairs spent much of the evening bonding around a fire through roasting marshmallows and laughing with each other. Guests also enjoyed a cook out dinner, courtesy of Publix and Sam’s Club, and crafting a nature themed bulletin board, in partnership with Home Depot. Participants also went on a evening nature hike, in search of nocturnal animals. The groups were thrilled to sight an opossum and a snake in their natural habitats.

Sarah Crim, Auburn resident and alumna of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, shared “My son and I always look forward to the S’more Fun with Mom event held at the KPNC.  This was our third year in attending and every year gets better!  It is wonderful to see all of the Moms enjoying an evening with their sons outdoors, away from the typical day-to-day activities…We learn about things together and come away with sweet memories of our shared experience in the woods, there is always something funny or unexpected that happens that we love to remember and laugh about.  I look forward to participating in this event for years to come!”IMG_20160513_183615

Gibbs Couch concluded the evening by entertaining the attendees through storytelling. Attendants gathered at the outdoor amphitheater to listen to her tell humorous stories about life lessons and chilling tales of ghosts. Couch is a lifelong Auburn resident and teaches storytelling courses at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).

The event is an annual favorite for both City of Auburn residents and supporters of the KPNC. Becky Richardson, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City Of Auburn, remarked “We enjoy partnering with the Kreher Preserve on the S’more Fun with Mom event.  It is a lot of fun and our citizens really seem to enjoy it.”

The KPNC, 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.

Contacts: Jennifer Lolley, (334) 707-6512, (preserve@auburn.edu) or Jamie Anderson, (334) 703-2953, (jla0015@auburn.edu).

Summer Forest Friends Registration is Open

11828545_1003697216329538_4055783641951375614_nThis 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. Our three-week summer session on Tuesdays from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. will be held on Tuesday, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26.

Session fee is $20 per child. Membership with the KPNC at the Magnolia level ($35) or above is required. Registration begins June 1.  Click here for Forest Friends Summer 2016 registration form or you may request forms at preserve@auburn.edu.

This program will be held at the Louise Kreher Preserve & Nature Center unless otherwise noted. The nature center is located at 2222 N. College Street near the AU Fisheries and Hwy 280. For more information, visit auburn.edu/preserve, email preserve@auburn.edu, or call 334-707-6512.

We are also on Facebook – www.facebook.com/auburnpreserve.

Summer Ecology Camp Registration Begins 4/1

2016 EcologyCampThis year’s summer ecology camp theme is Water Wonders for 1st– 4th graders! Hungers Games camp will be held for 5-7th graders.

Campers will enjoy learning all about the water cycle and the role water plays in our natural ecosystem. Have you ever asked yourself where water came from? How it helps plants to grow? Or, where it goes after it rains?

Learn all this and more at this year’s summer ecology camp! Explore the importance of water in the lives of animals, plants, and humans as well as the impact we can have on wise use and management of our water resources through active and participatory nature studies, crafts, games, hikes, and more!

Camps are held Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Except Camp Discovery, Explorers) Drop off begins at 7:45 a.m. Camps are for children in upcoming grades 1st – 7th. Registration is $110 and includes a daily snack, activities, and a camp t-shirt. KPNC membership at the Magnolia level ($35 or above) is required for registration. Visit auburn.edu/preserve to join.

Online registration begins April 1st (8:00 a.m. CT). Visit the KPNC Marketplace to register.

Available camps include:

May 31 – 3
Camp Discovery – for upcoming 3rd and 4th grades. This session will be Tuesday – Friday and will include a night session on Thursday, May 29th, for the whole family to attend.

June 6 – June 10
Young Naturalist I – for upcoming 1st and 2nd grades.

June 13 – June 17
Hunger Games – for upcoming 5th through 7th grades. In addition to activities related to the summer camp theme, Water Wonders!, campers will also learn about the responsibilities of park/wilderness rangers, including outdoor survival skills such as fire and shelter building, first aid, and more.

June 20 – June 24
Young Naturalist II – for upcoming 1st and 2nd grades.

June 27 – June 30
Explorers – for mixed ages, upcoming 1st through 6th grades. Ideal for siblings. This session will include a night session (no camp on Friday due to the holiday weekend) on Thursday, June 30 from 6:00-8:30 for the whole family to attend.

All camps are held at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center, located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, just north of the AU Fisheries complex. Email preserve@auburn.edu or call 334-844-8091 for more information.

Individuals from 13 – 17 years of age who would like to participate in the Summer Ecology Camp program as a Counselor In Training (CIT), must complete and mail the CIT application form to the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center by May 15, 2016. Applications can be emailed to preserve@auburn.edu or mailed to LKFEP, 3301 SFWS Building, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn, AL, 36849.

S’more Fun with Mom Registration to Begin 3/21


Join us for the 3rd Annual S’more Fun with Mom, Lee County’s Mother/Son adventure, co-hosted by the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center and the City of Auburn. S’more Fun with Mom will be held for two evenings; Thursday and Friday, May 12 and 13, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.  This fun evening will include a night hike, craft, cookout, s’mores, and storytelling!

Our mother/son duos may commemorate this special night with a 5×7 portrait by JRogers Photography ($10 per image – proceeds benefit the KPNC). Rain dates are Thursday and Friday, May 19 and 20. Ticket sales begin March 21 and are $20 per mother/son couple, $5 per additional son. Recommended ages are 4 – 12 years. Visit the KPNC Online Marketplace to purchase tickets (one Mother/Son ticket per purchase). Registration is limited to 50 couples per night.

Co-hosted with the City of Auburn. Sponsored by Auburn Opelika Tourism Bureau, Publix of Cary Creek, Home Depot, and JRogers Photography. Proceeds benefit the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center.  In the event of rain date cancellations; purchased tickets will be applied as contributions.  We apologize for any inconvenience, but refunds cannot be issued. A tax receipt for donations may be provided upon request.

The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, AL. For questions, please email preserve@auburn.edu.


Read Across the Preserve, Special Event March 1st

ReadAcrossthePreserve2016Stop by the Preserve anytime Saturday February 27th – Tuesday March 1st and celebrate Read Across America with us. The celebration starts in the Nature Playground at the Little Free Library. You can pick out a book that looks fun to read from the Little Free Library in the Treehouse. Then grab a preserve map and see if you can find the perfect reading spot! We’ll have specially marked maps that show great spots for reading all over the Preserve. If you aren’t up for a hike, that’s OK. There are lots of places to sit and read in the Nature Playground. Got a little one that can’t sit still? Look for the Story Walk for our younger readers, where you walk to find the next page in the story!

Oh, and if you have any books of your own that you are finished reading you can bring them to leave at the Little Free Library for others to find!

On March 1st:

– 9:30am Hot Cocoa and a Folktale (at amphitheatre)
– 3:30pm READ ACROSS THE PRESERVE! Listen to readers at special spots around the Preserve.
– 5:30pm Roasted marshmallows and reading around the campfire… Bring your favorite passage to read aloud as we sit by the fire.

Sponsored by Daisy Griffin, Author

Spring Forest Friends Registration & Playdate, Scheduled for March 1st


Openings still available for Tuesday session!

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, 3/22 and Friday, 3/25 from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Topics this year include: Spring Awakening; Are you my Mother?, Eggciting, Animal Movements, Marvelous Mammals and Wacky Weather.

Session fee is $45 per child. Membership with the KPNC at the Magnolia level ($35) or above is required. Registration forms can be downloaded or you may request forms at preserve@auburn.edu starting on March 1st.

Playdate and registration will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1st at the nature playground at the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center located at 2222 N. College St., Auburn, AL.

Auburn Area Community Theater and KPNC to Present Peter Pan at the Preserve, February 20th

PeterPanAuburn Area Community Theater’s Young Performers &  the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center Present
Peter Pan at the Preserve, Saturday, February 20th, from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Everyone, the young and the young at heart are invited to come to “Neverland” where you will interact with Peter, Wendy, the Lost Boys and of course Captain Hook and his devious pirates. As you arrive, you will be asked to choose a side…Lost Boys or Pirates. After a brief introduction to Neverland, you will have a chance to prepare for battle! You will face off at the playground in an epic game of capture tag.

For those that don’t want to join the melee, Wendy will be telling stories by the fire. There will be marshmallows for roasting, hot cocoa and spiced cider. Heavy rain or snow cancels the event.

The KPNC is located at 2222 North College Street, Auburn.  For more information contact Melanie Brown: supersugarmel@gmail.com. This a FREE event.

Birding 101 Scheduled for Saturday, February 13

2016 Science on Saturdays Series Opens with Birding 101

bluebirdsJoin Rita Kempf of the Auburn Birding Group and the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center (KPNC) staff on Saturday, February 13th at 10:00 a.m. to learn all about counting birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count. We will teach you the common winter birds found in our part of the state, ways to attract birds to your yard, and bird watching tips. Become a citizen scientist and help researchers gain a clearer picture of bird populations with the data you gather in a fun activity the whole family can enjoy. We will enter some live entries to the Cornell site after a group 15-minute count.

Proceeds from this program will be used to buy food for the preserve bird feeders. Cost: $4 for members/$5 non-members. The KPNC is located at 2222 N. College Street, Auburn, AL. Email preserve@auburn.edu for more information. Cancelled if severe weather.

Registration Opens for 2016 Spring Break Camp

spring break club 8Spring Peepers!

Enroll your child in the Kreher Preserve & Nature Center, 2016 Spring Break Camp, to be held Monday, March 14, through Wednesday, March 16. Campers will spend three days with our staff naturalists welcoming the arrival of spring! While enjoying the fresh air and outdoors, the children will learn all about our Alabama plants, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals through hiking, gardening, arts and crafts and other fun activities out and about the preserve.

For grades 1st – 6th grades. The 3-day camp is offered from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and includes a drink and mid-morning snack. Drop off is at 7:45 a.m. The camp fee is $120 for members and $130 for non-members per child. Comfortable, weather appropriate clothing and close-toed shoes (that can get dirty-to play) are recommended.

You may download your registration form and email to: KPNC, 3301 SFWS Building, Auburn, AL 36849 or e-mail to: preserve@auburn.edu. The registration fee may be paid by check and is due by or on the first day of camp.

New Education Director and Volunteer Coordinator Joins KPNC Staff

photoAnna Bryant joined the staff of KPNC in September to serve as the new Education Director and Volunteer Coordinator. Anna, who was born and raised in Auburn, brings a wealth of knowledge about the environment to the preserve. She has worked as an environmental educator at Camp McDowell, a resident camp located in Northwest Alabama, and Camp Beckwith, located on the Alabama coast. She has a BS in Biology from University of South Alabama and Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. She has experience in raptors, wildlife rescue, kayaking, team building, ropes courses, and marketing and is a certified wilderness first responder. Anna will be a great asset to the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center. Come by and meet her when you get a chance!