By Michael Buckman
Spring at Auburn University’s Kreher Preserve and Nature Center is full of flowers, new life and great resources and events for the community.
“Spring has definitely arrived at the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center,” said Michael Buckman, center manager. “Everything is popping into bloom across the nature center, from dogwoods to redbuds. We are open every day, dawn to dusk, and our six miles of trails let you explore all the beautiful spring awakenings.”
Many plants across the nature center show off their colorful flowers during the spring months, March through May.
“Visiting the nature center frequently during this time will offer visitors a different cast of flowers each time, all while watching the deciduous trees fill with fresh, green leaves,” Buckman said.
In addition to the plants, animals are out in abundance. Many mammals and reptiles are waking from their winter slumber, while birds fill the tree canopies due to all the migratory species that are joining the year-round residents. In addition, the abundance of flowers is encouraging pollinators to take flight, including many butterflies species, such as sulphurs and tiger swallowtails.
“Try hiking near dawn or dusk to have the best chance of seeing our mammalian residents like deer,” Buckman said. “And check out the bird feeders at the main pavilion, the birding blind and the main parking lot. They are all full of birds right now. Butterflies are most active at the butterfly garden, just off our north entrance.”
The warmer weather is not only stimulating the plant and animal life at the nature center, as spring programming is filling the parking lot almost every weekend.
“This is our busiest time of year for programs,” Buckman said. “We have birthday parties, facility rentals and events every weekend through May. We are also focusing attention on the installation of a sensory trail that we are calling our ‘Sensory Forest.’ We are hoping to host a grand opening on April 2.”
Upcoming events at the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center include a Science on Saturdays Lecture Series from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26, about “the Secret World of Salamanders.” On April 23 from 10 a.m. to noon, the nature center will host “Liberty Tea with Tia,” an educational workshop about the history of tea in America and the amazing home creations that developed after the Boston Tea Party.
“Our biggest spring event, though, is S’more Fun,” Buckman said. “This is one of our most popular events. It is a night of fun and s’mores for moms and their sons. This year, we are doing a special family night and opening it to everyone.”
S’more Fun with Mom will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. May 5 through 7. Thursday, May 5, is family night and open to the entire family, while Friday and Saturday are for sons and their moms only.
The dates, times and topics for all the workshops can be found on the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center’s website. The center is an outreach program of the College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.
Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.