The value of CNC is evident by the continual progress they make in improving environmental education for K-12 students, as well as habitat restoration and preservation. Programs are offered virtually every week and the Center stays open almost every day of the year. Thanks to the generous 2011 donation of 3M and other significant donors, CNC completed an outdoor pavilion that enhances the center's ability to teach in all types of weather, and adds a revenue stream from pavilion rental. Most significantly, I feel, is the quality and capability of their naturalists who reach thousands of students every year with superb environmental education and naturalist programs. CNC is a first-rate facility.
Thanks to hundreds of volunteers and a small, dedicated professional staff, CNC gives more "non-profit bang for the buck" than any other charity I know. It's a well-managed organization with enthusiastic, skilled naturalists.
Their K-12 environmental education/natural science classes are filled with classes from area schools, and the center coordinates their curriculum with Minnesota and Wisconsin state education requirements. The public programs serve the needs of their community, and their apple orchard is eco-friendly.
All in all they do a terrific job in providing children with a quality natural science education. Local charity; 100% privately supported.
The expanse of land and the views from Carpenter Nature Center make it one my favorite places to be. This preservation of land is one of the most important aspects of Carpenter. Then the commitment to nature and outdoor education is another of Carpenter's strengths. They do it so well addressing the needs of young and old, as well as those of limited abilities. As well, the orchard, the bees and the maple syruping are excellent demonstrations of how we are connected to the land. Lastly, the staff make volunteers feel very welcome.
I have been a Friend of Carpenter Nature Center and volunteer for over 5 years. I love the story of Carpenter. How Thomas and Edna Capenter wanted to have a place for children and adults to come and be close to nature. This is a peaceful place to walk the trails, visit the apple shack, or attend one of the many great events they have during the year. The staff are so dedicated to the programs that CNC offers and the many volunteers who both put in countless hours to keep it all going. This is a wonderul place to experience and learn about the natual world around us. CNC has truly enriched my life.
We have been associated with Carpenter Nature Center as volunteersI for over 25 years. Our experiences have always been positive. We have learned a great deal about nature, the environment and banding of birds in this period of tme. It is a joy to see children come and get exicited about birds, reptiles and amphibians. It is particularly satisfying to see the public schools in the area bring the children to the Nature Center for classes in the out of doors.
I've been volunteering at Carpenter Nature Center for several years as a bird bander. A wonderful opportunity to learn more about birds. Their emphasis on environmental education for children is important since so many kids don't get much exposure to the out of doors.
I have volunteered for the past 2 summers as a Greeter at Carpenter Nature Center. I have enjoyed getting to know the very dedicated staff and many of the volunteeers. The trails are scenic and I firmly believe that no one leaves Carpenter Nature Center in a bad mood. Stress seems to evaporate within minutes.
My family and I find great value from being in nature. Carpenter Nature Center is place where we can enjoy the beauty, renew our energy, marvel at the natural systems, and learn so much about ourselves and our environment.
Carpenter has taught us about sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. Their apple orchard is an excellent example of a pest management system that doesn’t require loads of chemicals. In a time when it’s so easy to bring out the can of bug killer, we can all use a reminder that there are simpler, more environmentally sound ways to deal with what ails us.
I’m happy to volunteer my time to build a place where my children’s children can go to learn these valuable environmental lessons. If you value the environment, please join me in volunteering.
As a retired high school biology teacher and an active birder I was drawn to Carpenter Nature Center when the director offered an instruction class for anyone interested in banding birds. That was 20 years ago. i have benefited and contributed to this wonderful nature center whose mission is dedicated to increasing adult's and children's knowledge about the natural world and its vulnerability each week for those years. The dedication of the staff and the volunteers they have recruited are doing a spectacular job in very meaningful ways to bring about behavior changes to enhance such difficult concepts as sustainability.
A friend recommended Carpenter Nature Center and now I just keep going back.
The Carpenter Nature Center provides a place of connecting, enjoying and discovery. The staff is incredibly dedicated, knowledgeable and committed to helping people enjoy and learn about nature.
It is such a great place that I am willing to donate time and money to make it possible for others to learn and enjoy.
One of the most wonderful sounds I hear while working at Carpenter Nature Center is the sound of excited children's voices, from pre-school up to high school, as they enter the CNC Visitor Center and see, possibly for the first time, live MN amphibians, reptiles, and raptors. Beautiful life-like displays of MN mammals in the presentation area also hold the interest of everyone. Their questions and comments as they watch the live presentation, and their attentive faces indicate that this is science and environmental education at its best. Add that to the diverse wild habitats, Mississippi River, and trails surrounding the nature center for hiking and viewing animals in the field, and you have an outstanding nature center.
Carpenter Nature Center is a terrific outdoor education organization. It's facilities are a jewel on the St. Croix River and will long serve as an accessible green space. I love the focus on getting kids outdoors in all weather - preschool storytimes always include an outdoor element. We have learned to snowshoe, tap a tree for maple syrup, the life cycle of a butterfly, and so much more.
I first became acquainted with CNC as a St. Paul Schools teacher. Our science specialist arranged a 4th-grade field trip there around winter studies. The educational experience was excellent, and as an outdoor enthusiast, I was very impressed with the recreational, as well as educational potential that CNC offers to all ages. Subsequently, my husband and I visited Carpenter for purposes of our own, hiking, snowshoeing, birding, and wildlife-watching.
After I retired, birding figured even more importantly in my life. I volunteered in the clinic at the Raptor Center on the U's St. Paul campus, where I made the acquaintance of Jen Vieth, who was on staff there. With her vast ornithological knowledge and devotion to education and the environment, she quickly became a personal birding mentor and partner. When she joined the staff of CNC, I developed a permanent connection to Carpenter.
Taking advantage of my training at TRC, I now help care for Carpenter's four raptors, as well as the wonderful variety of other animals that are part of the education program. Being there on bird-banding days also adds to my education and enjoyment.
Most of all I have seen first-hand what a strong, all-around education program Carpenter has developed, particularly for young children, who were the focus of my professional years. Both content and delivery are high-quality. I've enjoyed assisting with small field-trip groups in lessons around concepts familiar from my years in a science magnet.
Also impressive is the Carpenter commitment to green practices--conserving energy, recycling, composting, highway clean-up, etc. They try to practice what they preach.
Finally, the staff is unerringly kind and respectful in dealing with everyone. They're patient and cheerful in training volunteers, and always address requests and suggestions.
I'm proud to support them with both money and time.
The Carpenter Nature Center is perhaps the finest nature center I have spent time exploring. As a Minnesota Master Naturalist I have had opportunities to visit many. The location, programs, volunteer activities, bird banding, trails, newletter and events are all worthwhile. Like some of its larger cousins; namely, Nature Conservency, it has done a wonderful job of acquiring and restoring habitat in an important flyway for migratory birds. Though I live in New Mexico now, I still visit as often as I can and remain a donor.
I have been visiting the center for over 20 years. Over this period of time I have had two children that have visited and grown up as a part of the center and its natural programing heritage. Not only my own children but thousands more children and many good people of our local communities have got involved, learned a little and have become better stewards of the lands we inhabit that go well beyond the borders of the Carpenter Nature Center. This place, its staff, the volunteers have become a second family to me in many ways.
Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center has much to offer! The center is a wonderful place to visit as a family or individual just to take in the great trails and spend some time in the outdoors. As an educator or Mom of little ones they have fantastic onsite education programs for youth of all ages. They also offer great events for adults such as their Owl weekend they hold in March for the public to come and learn about Birds of Prey or the raptor release they do with the Raptor Center. Don't forget the opportunity to snow shoe in the winter! I understand they grow some amazing apples although I have not been fortunate enough to experience this aspect yet!