Nurture Nature Center, located in Easton, Pennsylvania, is a dynamic center for community learning about local environmental risks. NNC is housed in a beautifully renovated, historic, 30,000 square foot facility, where the staff uses a blend of science, art and dialogue programs to get the community talking and thinking critically about the local environment. NNC hosts a variety of different types of programs – including science presentations, film screenings, community discussions and art shows – about timely and important environmental issues of interest to the community. NNC’s visitor center includes a variety of art and other educational exhibits, including the Science on a Sphere exhibit developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This famed exhibit, which has been installed at 100 science centers and museums around the world, features breath-taking visualizations of earth and space science and is a centerpiece of NNC’s visitor area. NNC uses these art and science exhibits, as well as other forum programs and educational events, to invite local residents and decision-makers into an ongoing dialogue about building community resiliency through environmentally-sound decision-making. NNC’s facility is also used for a variety of community activities, and is available for rental for special events.
One of NNC’s core areas of environmental focus is flooding. NNC was founded in 2007, in the wake of massive and repetitive flooding in the Delaware River Basin, in an effort to educate the public about flooding. NNC has established itself as a national leader in flood education. Among its achievements include a multiple-award winning flood education campaign, Focus on Floods, conducted in partnership with the National Weather Service throughout the four states (NJ, PA, NY, DE) of the Delaware River Basin. NNC has also developed a new model for community dialogue programs, From Risk to Resiliency, with support from National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NNC recently produced a guidebook for other science and community centers who are interested in engaging communities in dialogues about environmental risks. That guidebook is found here: http://issuu.com/nurturenaturecenter/docs/forum_guidev. NNC also engages in social science research projects as well as regional public education campaigns, including an ongoing project to educate the public about flooding in coastal areas.