Letter from the Director

One profound benefit of working for an organization like Woldumar is the privilege of observing nature’s transitions. Winter’s blanket recently gave way to a forest floor of ephemerals. As I write this, those spring blossoms are disappearing into deep, lush summer greenery. In a few short months, we’ll watch autumn’s paintbrush spread dazzling colors, which will all too soon disappear under next winter’s first flakes. The change is constant. It’s beautiful. It’s inspiring.

As an organization, Woldumar is changing. We have a new staff, most of whom will celebrate their one-year anniversary this summer. This will be our first summer under a new camp director. Several new volunteers are getting their feet wet maintaining our gardens, grounds, and computer systems. All of these new faces have brought new approaches to the way we operate, changing the look and feel of the organization.

Woldumar has also experienced a change in leadership. In February, after seven years of working for Woldumar in a variety of capacities, I accepted the role of Executive Director. Having witnessed some significant struggles for a number of those years, it was not an easy decision, but one I felt I needed to make. My heart is here. I grew up in the area and attended Woldumar as a child. I’m excited to make positive change and lead the organization in a more efficient and more sustainable direction.

In my first few months on the job, we’ve written a new strategic plan. We’ve worked very hard to limit the organization’s expenses. We’ve trimmed our program offerings to focus on core, mission-driven efforts, and we’ve eliminated programs that were poorly attended or required too many resources. An emphasis has been placed on customer care with extended hours and a more consistent staff presence in the Visitor Center. Our newsletter will be distributed every other month, instead of quarterly as in the past, and you will begin to see more frequent emails and updates to our website. We are offering a new menu of membership options as well as regular, organized volunteer opportunities. We are building partnerships with other organizations, all in the name of rallying the community around this organization.

If you’ve ever felt compelled to become involved at Woldumar, we need you now more than ever before. As the area’s only private non-profit nature center, we depend on your donations to stayoperational. Woldumar is a resource managed by its members, for its members, and a healthy, involved membership is essential to our long-term success. We hope you’ll take a moment now to review your membership status and consider renewing and/or making a donation.

Additionally, Woldumar depends on volunteers to maintain our grounds and trails, plan and implementfestivals and events, and help around the office. We need your participation in programs and events.We need your involvement governing and leading the organization. As detailed in our strategic plan, we have very high hopes for Woldumar – new ways to serve our members and the Greater Lansing Community. Woldumar has a bright and exciting future, but we will need to work together embracing change, supporting change, being agents of change, to make that plan a reality. Please join us.

Camp Discovery is Almost Here!

After a long, cold winter, we are finally seeing signs of spring! The mountains of snow have melted to make way for budding flowers, the animals have come out of hibernation to sunbathe in the lagoon, and the chirping of new life can be heard all throughout the forest. Spring also means that the school year is coming to a close, and it is time to start thinking about how our children will be spending their summer.

If you have been out for a walk at Woldumar, you know first-hand that immersing yourself in nature can have positive effects on your overall well-being. Studies show that connecting with nature in this way can help with behavioral and mental issues such as anxiety and depression, and it can also result in increased levels of creativity and productivity. These findings, in combination with values such as teamwork, physical activity, scientific exploration, and environmental stewardship, have been the inspiration for our Camp Discovery summer program.

Camp Discovery provides opportunities for children to experience a guided exploration of Woldumar’s many diverse eco-systems through weekly themed lessons. Children will leave Camp Discovery with a sense of connection to the world around them, a heightened interest in the scientific process, and memories that will last a lifetime.

To download a copy of our 2015 Camp Discovery brochure and register your child for camp, visit our Camp Discovery page.