Tribute Opportunities

Tribute gifts provide a wonderful way to honor a person or organization, commemorate a special event, or create a lasting memorial to loved ones. Each tribute demonstrates support of the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s mission of connecting people and nature, now and for future generations. A personalized acknowledgment of your tribute gift will be sent to the recipient of your choice following receipt of your donation.

Make a Tribute Donation    Your tribute gift helps support the mission of the Kalamazoo Nature Center by providing funding for the many programs and services we offer throughout the year. From preschool and public programs and from research to conservation activities, your support helps KNC isnpire our community to experience nature in meaningful and memorable ways. Donate here >

Create a Tribute

There are a variety of options available at higher donation levels including a gift to the KNC’s endowment, the creation of an overlook, the development of a desired structure, etc. Our staff can help create a unique tribute that is in keeping with KNC’s needs and mission.

Contact us for more information: (269) 381-1574 ext. 18 or email at . 

Friends of the Forest Giving Program

KNC’s sugarbush is an area of beech-maple forest along the rolling glacial topography of our Fern Valley Trail. While not old growth, this area has still been a key feature of KNC’s trails and programs for generations. This area is not far from the forests whose protection inspired KNC’s initial formation as an organization in 1960.

The nature center has provided maple sugaring programs to the public in these forests since 1965. Sadly, these forests are also very vulnerable to invasive pests, like the emerald ash borer, and climate change. Over the last decade, these forests lost hundreds of ash trees, leading to a proliferation of autumn olive and honeysuckle growth. This kind of disturbance outcompetes regeneration of native plants and threatens the forest’s resilience over time.

Acre by acre, restoration of this space is possible and promising. The team has been working to remove invasive shrubs, clear away woody debris, and make room for reforestation. Starting in 2020, KNC staff, volunteers, and Heronwood students planted over 60 trees and shrubs in this area with a goal of diversifying the forest canopy and protecting the programs of KNC’s future. Last fall, these partners planted another 100 trees, adding both species and genetic diversity. This restoration project fits with many of the goals in KNC’s broader sustainability plans, helping to maintain the health of our forests, enhance our forest’s recovery after disturbance, and boost the forest’s ability to take in carbon over time.
You can help! KNC has big plans for 2023 to continue management of the previously restored acres and expand the plantings further. We have a goal of raising $16,000 to cover all expenses for this year’s work. Support our Friends of the Forest giving program to celebrate your special event, honor a loved one, or simply invest in healthy future forests.

Become a Friend of the Forest


KNC will provide regular maintenance and care to your commemorative brick. Should your contact information change, please call 269-381-1574 x0 or email .

KNC’s commemorative bricks are placed in the Hummingbird Butterfly garden located in the Arboretum. Bricks come in two sizes:

4″ x 8″ brick allows for up to 3 lines of customized text for $125* 

8″ x 8″ brick allows up to 6 lines of customized text for $250*
*tax deductible

We also offer the option to create a replica brick to keep as your own or give as a gift. Replica bricks cost $125 for a 4″ x 8″ brick and $250 for an 8″ x 8″ brick. Replica bricks are not tax deductible, and they must be picked up at KNC when they are ready. Allow a two full months for creation and delivery of bricks to KNC.

Commemorative bricks are placed twice annually. Brick requests received between September 1 and March 31 will be installed in May, and requests received between April 1 and August 31 will be installed in October.

Order a brick online below or call 269-381-1574 x0 and a Guest Services host will be happy to take your tribute order over the phone.

Purchase a Tribute Brick

arboretum in spring

Monica A. Evans Arboretum Tree Tour

The Arboretum features winding pathways surround by native plantings, taking visitors along the sculpture tour to the Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, a popular outdoor space for weddings and special events.In addition, the Arboretum also features stunning trees, many donated by individuals over the past 60+ years. To find a tree donated in memory of a person, or to identify individual trees are you are walking in the garden, view the interactive map of the Arboretum trees here.