While Butler County Conservation Board Offices and Heery Woods Nature Center have been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Conservation Board staff has continued to work to complete plans and fundraising for the Heery Woods Nature Center Expansion Project.
The expansion project includes the addition of a classroom to be used for programs and gatherings, increased space for additional exhibits, and space for much needed storage of program equipment and supplies.
Despite the COVID-19 slowdown, fundraising for the project continues to enjoy great support from both the general public and grant and donation sources. In February the Friends of Heery Woods Nature Center and Butler County Conservation Board cooperated to mail a donation request to all Butler County property owners. To date that mailing has resulted in local individuals and businesses contributing more than $26,000.00 in support for the project! With the support from these individual donations and donations that have been received from several foundations and trusts, the project needs just $20,000.00 to meet construction estimates!
With project funding so close to complete, the Butler County Conservation Board is working to finalize blueprints and plans to let bids late this spring with construction to begin mid to late summer. While the Butler County Conservation Board offices have reopened, the Butler County Conservation Board has elected to keep the exhibit area of the Nature Center closed until construction is complete. The closure only affects the exhibit portion of the Nature Center.
Visitors are once again able to access the Conservation Board offices at the Nature Center for questions and assistance during regular business hours. The exhibit area of the nature center will be closed to the public as staff begins to work to remove and store exhibits that will be affected by the construction project.
Once the project is well underway, construction of some new and replacement and updating of some existing exhibits will begin. While we understand that this closure will be inconvenient for some, the completion of the new additions will help the Butler County Conservation Board to continue to provide new and exciting educational programs and exhibits for generations to come.
For more information about the Heery Woods Nature Center Expansion Project or to learn how you can help complete funding for the project, please contact the Butler County Conservation Board at (319) 278-4237 or Heery Woods Nature Center at (319) 278-1130.