The Kropscott Farm Environmental Center
By Lori Larsen
The Kropscott Centennial Farm was donated to the Newaygo Conservation District (NCD) by Earle and Mildred Kropscott. The property is an 80-acre parcel, which includes a farmhouse, barn, and approximately 40 acres of forest. The Kropscott's wish for this property is that it be used for education, agriculture, and scientific studies pertaining to the environment and our natural resources. The NCD Board of Directors will continue to honor this wish and make the property a place for everyone to utilize and to visit.
The Kropscott Farm Environmental Center (KFEC) is located six miles north of Fremont on the corner of Baseline and Stone Road. The facility contains two research labs for a wide variety of environmental and agricultural research and educational programming. The barn has been renovated to house a large area for demonstration and education purposes. The S.F. Wessling Observatory is a unique aspect of the Environmental Center, offering our residents the ability to view the wonders of the universe.
Educational experts have identified a general lack of interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) on the part of students throughout the U.S. This situation has major implications relating to conservation, the environment, agriculture, research and jobs in general. STEM educational programs at KFEC are tightly aligned with statewide curriculum standards and support regional public, private, parochial and home school networks. Through the project based, hands-on experiences, students develop an understanding and interest that is usually not developed by classroom experiences alone.
As the Kropscott Farm Environmental Center develops, it will be a valued research site and showplace for soil restoration practices such as agroforestry and permaculture. Current research, combined with the KFEC facility, the staff experience and the NCD nursery, offers the entire Newaygo community a truly unique opportunity. As the programs develop and expand, the opportunities for the entire community to explore and enjoy are pretty incredible.
The infrastructure is there, but KFEC is missing the resource that makes the programming come alive: humans.
Note to the Retirees of Newaygo County
We, the seniors of Newaygo County, have much to share. The experience and wisdom that we have gathered with the investment of our years is too valuable to keep to ourselves. So, if you enjoy gardening, bird watching, kite flying, wood working, cooking, hiking, geology, telescopes, microscopes, bee keeping, butterflies, or a dozen other things that we haven’t even thought of yet, please join us. We need you. Today’s youth need you.
And, yes, I did say kite flying. How fun would that be?
The KFEC is a beautiful location with unlimited potential for education and community involvement and enjoyment. All it needs is you. Please join us.
The KFEC open house will be held on April 16th from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm. The KFEC is located at 6523 W. Baseline Road, north of Fremont.
And, yes, there will be coffee and donuts.
I hope to see you there.
For more information call Luke Cotton at (231)349-4455.
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