What is the mission of the Twelve Hills Nature Center?
“Cultivating conservation ethics through our Blackland Prairie restoration and nature education.”
What does the Nature Center include?
The Nature Center has a beautiful entrance and gathering area as well as walking trails. A butterfly garden surrounds the entrance and includes many flowering native plants and shrubs. A founder’s plaque and a donor wall recognize those who played a large part in creating the Nature Center. The gathering area has stone benches and walls and is a pleasant place to sit and observe butterflies.
Twelve Hills proper has a trail around the edges of the five-acre nature center and returns to the entrance. There are many native wildflowers and trees in the mix that has grown up. If you’re observant, you’ll see some of the wildlife that make their home here.
Efforts have begun to restore Native Blackland Prairie plants with the planting of native wildflower seeds and grasses by Rosemont students and volunteers. These and other efforts to improve habitat will continue in the future.
What is unique about the Nature Center?
The Nature Center’s uniqueness is in its rolling terrain that sets it apart from most of the much more flat land surrounding it. Particularly, when one walks the site, one feels the up and down hilly terrain. Its topography lends itself to multiple uses. The property also has a small creek, Coombs Creek, in the southwest corner that allows for habitat enhancement.
Because of its location, Twelve Hills Nature Center has enormous and unique value as an educational tool. It is next door to an elementary school of over 1000 students and within walking distance of over 1500 inner-city students from ages 4 – 14 and 2000 high school students. It is bordered by residential neighborhoods and is easily accessed by the public, many of whom can travel there in a few minutes. Students and neighbors will be able to learn about land stewardship and the natural world at the Nature Center on a regular basis, rather than only on the occasional field trip. It is a “manageable” size for the typical urban resident and a perfect entry into the natural world and into the ethics of conservation and land preservation.
How can people get involved?
People can get involved in a number of ways including: joining a committee, participating in events, donating funds, helping to raise funds, signing up on the e-mail list, volunteering time, donating good or services, working on one of the programs, recruiting volunteers or just simply coming to visit the Nature Center to enjoy its peace, quiet and beauty.
Valuing Earthly Experience
There will be no more important concern in the next 20 years in life-style, business, recreation, theology and art than the natural environment and human use of resources. So one of the best gifts you can give your children is to start them early –yes, as toddlers–being in relationship to the natural world. Ground them in deep understanding of Nature.
Children map on their bodies. They absorb the feel, smell, sounds of the earth that nurtures all life. That knowledge will help shape their minds and nervous systems —that is, if their parents provide the child-sized experiences they need, valuing it over screentime and virtual living.
Twelve Hills Nature Center is designed and dedicated to helping families provide the sensory experiences that flower in creative and loving lives. Your neighbors have provided this for you. Please enjoy it frequently — and for a long time.