PEEC ‘Bearometer.’ Courtesy/PEEC
PEEC kicked off its Annual Fund Drive Nov. 1, with a goal of raising $15,000 to support the costs of operating the nature center all year long and providing free or low cost nature programs to the community.
Again this year, PEEC is keeping track of donations through a “bearometer”. If PEEC reaches its goal by Dec. 31, the bear will be able to hibernate for the winter. Unique to this year’s annual drive is an opportunity for matching funds: for every $1 donated to the Annual Fund Drive, anonymous donors will match with an equal donation to the one-time Take Wing campaign to raise funds for the new nature center, up to $20,000.
“We are so grateful for the many people who have generously contributed to our Take Wing fundraising campaign, and they may be asking themselves why PEEC is asking for donations again,” PEEC Executive Director Katie Watson said. “In fact, it’s two entirely different campaigns to support very different things.”
Gifts to PEEC’s Annual Fund Drive go toward the annual operating budget and allow PEEC to keep offering the hikes, classes, talks, and school field trips the community has come to love.
“Without the generous donations PEEC receives from the Annual Fund Drive, PEEC can’t keep offering the rich multitude of programs that get people outside enjoying nature,” Watson said.
The one-time Take Wing campaign, on the other hand, is raising $1.2 million for the professionally designed indoor and outdoor exhibits at the new Los Alamos Nature Center, which will open next spring at 2600 Canyon Road and be a resource for Los Alamos residents and visitors alike.
PEEC has served the community of Los Alamos and its visitors since 2000. In 2014, just through mid-October, PEEC has served nearly 14,000 people through public, school, and outreach programs, nature center visits, and special events.
Donations to the PEEC Annual Fund Drive help to support:
- Children’s Programs, including weekly free Nature Playtimes for preschoolers, as well as a number of fun and educational family activities on a variety of topics related to nature, most of which are free or very low-cost. PEEC also provides thousands of hours of free lessons to Los Alamos Public School children through their partnership with LAPS.
- Public Programs, which serve as a way to bring the community together to connect with and learn about nature. The topics range from wildlife to gardening to conservation and more. Program fees are kept low so that everyone can enjoy the natural world through PEEC; however, the fees charged do not usually cover the cost of offering the program.
- The Nature Center, which is currently operated by PEEC at 3540 Orange Street five days a week throughout the year. There is no cost to visit the center, where one can learn about nature on the Pajarito Plateau, visit the many animals, and try the hands-on exhibits. While volunteers are a tremendous help in staffing the center, there are still costs associated with keeping the center running. In spring 2015, PEEC will move its operations to the new Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road.
For more information and to make a donation to PEEC’s Annual Fund Drive, visit www.pajaritoeec.org/welcome/donate.php, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org, call 505.662.0460 or just come by the center at 3540 Orange St.