Based on the Springbrook Nature Center’s Vision and Mission statements, the following Visioning for the SPRING Project was generated.
Springbrook Nature Center will be a premier, easily accessible refuge by preserving its natural beauty and wildlife habitats for future generations. Through collaboration with the City of Fridley and many community partners, the Springbrook Nature Center Foundation envisions creating capability for increased visitation and education with minimum negative impact on our natural habitats.
The itemized purpose of the SPRING Project is to:
• Significantly enhance the visitor experience
• Manage the growth in visits while preserving the fragile natural environment
• Serve the region’s growing demand for youth environmental education
• Preserve a regional premier bird watching and research sanctuary
• Become a model for environmental stewardship and conservation
• Promote health and wellness for all ages especially those in recovery
• Repair and replace aging facilities
• Create a natural environment play area for children
• Be welcoming to diverse cultural and ethnic groups
• Conduct moderate sized community events with minimal site impact
• Accommodate large groups (school programs, life celebrations, and group retreats)
• Broaden financial support to ensure stability through program development
Embracing the Vision
Led by the Springbrook Nature Center Foundation’s Board of Directors, the SPRING Project represents the next step towards achieving the Vision. Nine years (2005-2014) of embracing the vision led to these accomplishments:
1) The Springbrook Nature Center Foundation created a “shovel ready” project in hopes of receiving a State of Minnesota grant. The collaborative support of the City of Fridley Parks and Recreation Commission, the City Council, and several consultant groups (funded by the SNCF) were critical to this level of detailed planning.
2) Dovetailing with the SPRING Project is the new Beery Memorial Garden (completed in 2009 with a donation from William Beery).
3) The Springbrook Nature Center Foundation had been seeking funding from the Minnesota Legislature through bonding bills for many years and several governor-ships. With the enthusiastic support from our legislative delegation and the Minnesota legislature, we hosted several legislative visits to the Nature Center. In 2014 the legislature approved a bonding bill that included $5 million for the SPRING Project design and construction.