A dream is coming true. The Prairie Plains Education Center, a concept nurtured with over 30 years of insight and hard work is becoming a reality. Constructed by moving a nearby historic barn to the Griffith Prairie and Farm, the Center will provide people of all ages a place to gather, learn, discuss, explore, share, work, think, relax...all while surrounded by a beautiful prairie landscape.
In its 1980 Articles of Incorporation Prairie Plains founders established as one of their founding purposes...
"To provide a center where persons of mutual interest in the natural history, horticulture, agriculture, human culture, sociology, development and the welfare of the plains may exchange ideas for the benefit and welfare of the members thereof and the state and the nation."
A generous grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust allowed us to purchase the Griffith Prairie and Farm as the site of the Education Center. The remodeled barn will feature classrooms with lab space, a large activity/meeting space, screened porch, library, conference room, gallery, kitchen and restrooms. Not only will the Center provide much-needed space for current Prairie Plains educational and volunteer events, it will allow us to share the work of the Institute with more people while we build relationships and identify opportunities for further collaboration. The Center will also be available for corporate retreats, community events and family gatherings.
The fundraising strategy for construction of this project has been divided into two phases. The first phase of the plan targets $300,000 for initial building costs to construct the foundation, rough in plumbing and electricity, move the barn to the site and fully enclose the structure. Phase Two calls for an additional $550,000 to finish the first and second levels of the building. Much of the labor (other than that required by code to be completed by a contractor) is to be provided by volunteers, further enhancing community investment in the project.
The final step of the fundraising process will include $500,000 for a maintenance endowment and $300,000 for programming costs (includes staffing and programming for four years).
So...the time has come to follow through on our founding plan. We're excited about this outstanding opportunity to increase the reach of our mission and we'd be honored to have you as a partner in this effort. Of course financial support is needed, but we're also looking for willing volunteers to help with the construction process. To find out how you can help, read on.
Make a Donation
The Center will serve as a nucleus of program growth in education, conservation and community development functions, allowing us to share the mission of Prairie Plains Resource Institute with an expanding audience. There are many ways you can contribute. Find out how you can help.
Get an update on our construction process here.
Details of the Education Center project and its intended programs can be found in the Education Center Brochure (updated July 2012).
Read the Education Center White Paper (written in September 2008) to learn what types of things we'll do at the Center once it is built.
Read Board President Cliff Dill's remarks from the Groundbreaking Ceremony
See the Site Scrapbook
View Photos of the Education Center.
1307 L Street
Aurora, NE 68818