Woodland Dunes opens new nature center

$1.6 million dollar Woodland Dunes Nature Center includes several green features, including...
$1.6 million dollar Woodland Dunes Nature Center includes several green features, including bird safe glass.(WBAY)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 3:09 PM CDT
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TWO RIVERS, Wis. (WBAY) - A Manitowoc County nature preserve is holding a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon to unveil its brand new nature center.

Founded nearly 50 years ago as an expansive, 1,500 acre wildlife preserve in Two Rivers, the popularity of Woodland Dunes led to the creation of public education programs, held for years in an old brick farmhouse.

“Those have grown to the point where we now often have school groups out here, plus another community group that wants to meet and we kind of ran out of space,” explains Jim Knickelbine, Woodland Dunes Executive Director.

In the fall of 2019, and thanks to generous community donors, Woodland Dunes launched construction on a $1.6 million nature center.

“This is the biggest, single capital project that we’ve ever done. We’re very grateful for the support the community has shown toward, not only this project, but support for Woodland Dunes overall, I think people really do value nature and natural areas and especially with Covid, we’ve had a lot of people that have come out to be outdoors, use the trails, kind of find a little peace in their lives,” says Knickelbine.

The Jack and Laurel Alyea Nature Center includes a number of green features, including geothermal heating and cooling, bird safe glass and a permeable parking area.

A large conference room with a kitchen and a family education space highlight the facility surrounded by nature.

“It almost feels like it’s a grown up nature center now,” says Knickelbine with a smile.

Following today’s VIP grand opening at the Woodland Dunes Nature Center, the community is invited to an open house tomorrow from 9am to 4pm.

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