This architect’s rendering shows the concept for the Indian Creek Nature Center’s new building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Solum Lang Architects)

This architect’s rendering shows the concept for the Indian Creek Nature Center’s new building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Solum Lang Architects)

CEDAR RAPIDS – The Indian Creek Nature Center is making amazing progress on its Amazing Space campaign to fund a new campus, building and endowment.

Today, the center announced lead gifts to the $6.9 million campaign include $1 million from The Hall-Perrine Foundation, $750,000 from Bob and Beth Allsop, and $500,000 from the Aegon Transamerica Foundation. A $200,000 gift from United Fire Group was previously announced. The project is expected to break ground in spring 2015.

Here is more about today’s announcement from the Indian Creek Nature Center:

The new campus and 12,000 square foot main building will be located on Otis Road SE, a half mile from the Nature Center’s current location. The project is focused on improving the Nature Center’s ability to teach people about and connect people to nature through hands-on experiences. To that end, the campus contains over 15 separate outdoor elements, including a new community amphitheater, nationally certified outdoor Nature Explore classroom, butterfly house, and recreational areas. The new building will contain exhibits, an educational wing, and an auditorium and kitchen space capable of serving up to 250 people.

Indian Creek Nature Center will be the only nature center worldwide, and the first project within the state of Iowa, to undertake the Living Building Challenge certification. This certification challenges the Nature Center to move beyond LEED and create one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. The project will create 100% of electricity on site with solar panels; prohibit unsustainable or dangerous materials from being used in construction; heat and cool the building with a geothermal system; and more.

Amazing Space campaign leadership includes endorsement committee members Tom & Kathleen Aller, Bob & Beth Allsop, Randy & Lisa Ramlo, and John & Dyan Smith; as well as co-chairs Pat Deignan, Jon Dusek, Cathy Gullickson, Marc Gullickson, Jeff Hamilton, Lisa Henderson, Charlie Rohde, and Gary Streit.

Amazing Space Project Goals 

1. Create a new campus on ICNC’s property to support outdoor learning and land restoration functions. The outdoor elements of the campus will include a butterfly house, outdoor amphitheater, land protection workshop, and relocated maple syrup house.  

2. Build a new, sustainable and green Living Building to support education and administrative functions, staying true to ICNC’s mission of promoting a sustainable future.

3. Increase the Nature Center’s current endowment fund of $2.1 million by at least $1 million to support annual operations of the campus and building. 

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About Indian Creek Nature Center:

Located in Cedar Rapids, Indian Creek Nature Center is Iowa’s first and only private, non-profit nature center. With 290 acres of land under its management, the Nature Center hosts thousands of visitors each year for nature-based programs and activities. The Nature Center’s mission is to promote a sustainable future by nurturing individuals through environmental education, providing leadership in land protection and restoration, and encouraging responsible interaction with nature.