BRUKNER NATURE CENTER WIELDS INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE
February 12, 2015
When Clayton Brukner donated land on Horseshoe Bend Road to establish a nature center, little did he realize that his vision of promoting the appreciation and understanding of wildlife through preservation, conservation and rehabilitation would be embraced by villagers in Kangundo, Kenya. It all began when a scholarship from the Hartstein Favorite Foundation, overseen by the Troy Rotary Club, was awarded to Gold-certified safari guide and passionate environmentalist Preston Mutinda in 1998. That scholarship allowed Mutinda to spend three (3) months as an intern at Brukner Nature Center. It was during his stay that the vision of an urban wildlife sanctuary in his Kenyan village took shape.
The Mutinda Wildlife Education Center became a reality in 2004 when Troy Rotary raised more than $50,000 to help Mutinda and local volunteers build the first of several buildings on Mutinda’s own property. Today, the Center boasts a library, auditorium, exhibit hall and an office that houses books, binoculars, DVDs and other educational material. Mutinda’s goal is to educate Kenyan children about the wildlife that surrounds them each day in the country’s national parks. Currently, he is able to provide free education to approximately 400 children each month.
Many of the children have no means of transportation to and from the Center. They must walk from one to three hours each way to learn about the wildlife and Kenya’s cultural traditions. The teachers who come with the children are taught typing and computer skills while at the Center. Mutinda is working with the Environmental Education and Conservation Global organization to accept donations for the purchase and maintenance of a four-wheel-drive van that will be outfitted to transport children to and from the Center safely. The van will also allow more children to experience the wonders of wildlife throughout the coming years.
Troy Rotarians are honored to continue to support the Mutinda Wildlife Education Center through donations made to the Troy Rotary Foundation. The Troy Rotary Foundation supports several community projects annually and distributed more than $11,000 in scholarships and community aid in 2013-14. To learn more about Rotary programs and membership, visit their Web site at www.troyohiorotary.org. You can also follow the Club’s activities on their Troy Rotary Club Facebook page. If you are interested in making a donation to the purchase of the van, please visit www.eecg.org and click on the “donate” button. You can learn more about Brukner Nature Center’s programs at www.bruknernaturecenter.com.
Tags: Troy, Rotary, Paul Harris Fellows, Jill Wilson, John Haller