The Nurture Nature Center story is one of local experience creating a national impact. Founded in 2007 in the wake of repetitive flooding in the Delaware River Basin (more here), it began as a center for flood education and outreach, achieving a national reputation for its work in the area. While flood risk education remains a core focus of NNC, the Center has grown substantially since its opening and now also provides a range of ongoing programs for the surrounding community, including science and art presentations and workshops, documentary film series, garden programming, community dialogue forums and youth activities and field trips. Our work in the area of flood risk communication and our many methods for engaging the community in dialogue about environmental issues have often been cited as models, and many of the educational materials developed for our programs are now used by governmental bodies and other organizations throughout the country. We have found that our interconnected programs are mutually enhancing, and amplify our ability to make an impact both within and beyond our local community.
Home to a breathtaking Science on a Sphere® globe as well as other educational science exhibits, several art galleries, and an urban recycle garden, NNC today hosts many thousands of visitors each year. Using a unique blend of science, art, and community dialogue to engage the public, our programming covers a wide range of timely and important topics relating to the environment (climate, ecosystems and land use, for example). As a part of this work, NNC has developed and advanced models for science education, art programming, as well as community engagement initiatives that have been nationally disseminated to other science centers and organizations.
NNC’s staff continue to engage in regional and national social science research, outreach and education projects about flooding and other local environmental risks. This work has been made possible by grants, awards and subawards to NNC from, among others, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), and has led to the development of many important tools for flood education, and improved products for communicating about floods and other hazards.
NNC is housed in a historic building in Easton’s downtown neighborhood that provides a spacious venue for its many programs and exhibits, as well as offices for its staff. The building is also used for a variety of community activities, and can be rented for special events.