Knoxville, TN – The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation located in Lake Forest, Illinois, has donated $10,000 to Ijams Nature Center, Inc., in support of the nonprofit nature center’s new Nature Preschool, which is scheduled to open August 2018. The preschool will focus on helping children to develop a solid foundation for lifelong learning, while cultivating a love of nature that will serve as the basis for a conservation ethic later in life.
“This grant will allow Ijams to prepare the Miller Building and its grounds on the Ijams family’s original home site to become a place for children ages 3-5 to explore and learn about nature,” said Amber Parker, Ijams Executive Director. “Our goal is for these preschoolers to spend 80 percent of their time outdoors. Part of this grant will be used to purchase desks, chairs and supplies, but the majority will go toward funding a nature play area and renovating the building’s deck to provide a space for outdoor education activities. We are extremely grateful to The Grainger Foundation for its generosity.”
The new Nature Preschool will offer a morning and an afternoon session five days a week for up to 18 children per session. Ijams also plans to offer a morning-only Nature Preschool Summer Camp prior to the school’s fall opening to allow younger children to experience an age-appropriate version of its Nature Adventure Day Camp.
Ijams will host open houses Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, and Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. for individuals interested in learning more about the new Nature Preschool, 2018 summer camps and other activities at the nature center.
This donation was recommended by Renee Trexler, Operations Manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s, Knoxville location. Grainger has been a part of the Knoxville business community for more than 60 years as the leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products. “We are proud to recommend the Nature Preschool program at Ijams Nature Center,” Trexler said. “We understand the need to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people of all ages to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences.”
The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation based in Lake Forest, Illinois, was established in 1949 by William W. Grainger, founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc.
Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities, and walks of life. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking, and more. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8:00 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday – Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.Ijams.org or call 865-577-4717.
Ijams Nature Center received $10,000 from The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation, in support of the nonprofit nature center’s new Nature Preschool, which is scheduled to open in Fall 2018. This donation was recommended by Renee Trexler, Operations Manager of W.W. Grainger, Inc.’s Knoxville location. Pictured from left are W.W. Grainger, Inc. Operations Manager Renee Trexler, Ijams Education Director Jennifer Roder, W.W. Grainger, Inc. Sales Specialist Jeff Stewart and Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker. Photo submitted.