New patio duals as gathering space and fundraising venue for Fenner Conservancy

A gift by two Lansing philanthropists has paved the way for community members to support programs of Fenner Nature Center and Conservancy brick-by-brick.
 
Dedicated April 19, the Davis Patio enables visitors to contribute to Fenner by purchasing paver bricks that can be engraved with personal messages and re-laid in the structure.
 
"One hundred percent of the proceeds go right to Fenner to deliver high quality education and park stewardship programs," says Katie Woodhams, program manager of Fenner Nature Center. "We have the potential to raise half a million dollars if we sell every brick."
 
Fenner supporters Susan and Jack Davis donated funds to build the patio that overlooks the center's pond and butterfly garden. The patio features a campfire ring as the centerpiece, and provides a gathering spot for school-aged children, day-campers, community members or families or friends to enjoy educational, recreational or other organized social activities. 
 
"It's a great place to sit back and relax and see all the wildlife," says Woodhams. "We are forever grateful to Susan and Jack for making this possible."
 
The Fenner Nature Center and Conservancy at 2020 E. Mount Hope Ave. consists of 134 acres with four miles of trails. Located in the heart of the city, Fenner's mission is to connect people to nature through conservation, education and stewardship.
 
"Every one who comes out here experiences a calming feeling," says Woodhams. "It's all about reconnecting with the natural world. It's hard to find time to do that, but when we do, it makes a difference in our day."
 
Among the projects supported by the Davis Patio and associated fundraising is the restoration of 19 acres of land as native Michigan prairie. Admission to the park is free, with summer camp registration underway for school-age children.
 
Source: Katie Woodhams, Program Manager, Fenner Nature Center
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor
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