Show Your Support for Warner Nature Center’s Legacy

This petition made change with 1,699 supporters!


After 50 years of excellence and hands-on-nature-experience for thousands of students, the award-winning Lee & Rose Warner Nature Center is closing on December 31, 2019, for unknown reasons to the public. The closing of Warner is devastating and leaves many connected parties (i.e staff, teachers, students, volunteers, etc.) feeling lost and abandoned.

For over 5 decades, the Science Museum of Minnesota and Manitou Fund (and its predecessor benefactors) have worked together to operate the Warner Nature Center. The Manitou Fund, a Minnesota nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, owns the land and Warner facilities and has provided the bulk of funding for Warner’s operating budget. For the past many years, the parties have had a renewable, yearly partnership agreement. The Manitou Fund has elected not to renew their partnership agreement with the Science Museum, and it is set to expire at the end of the year. They want to press a “reset” button on the entire program and staff.

This expiration impacts many lives in the community, and Warner’s legacy of building lasting relationships between people and the natural world will be tragically lost if we don’t push back against this “reset”.

We appreciate the years of support the Manitou Fund and its predecessor funds and foundations have given to all that is Warner. Without these funds and foundations, Warner would not have evolved into the rare jewel it is. But the real secret behind the Warner Nature Center is its combination of staff, volunteers, programming, and the land. 

Imagine seeing the joy on a child’s face as they go on a hike and learn first hand about the natural world. It would be unjust to lose such a valued treasure here in our own backyard. Warner is a magical place that is loved by many people, and you can see the magic in the face of a child who otherwise may never get to experience a hike in the woods. Please help save Warner’s integrity and mission. 

Manitou Fund is exploring options for how best to use the land and facilities going forward and for future generations, though no specific plans are in place at this time. Future plans are only “likely” to continue Manitou Fund’s 50-plus years tradition of protecting the land and using this cherished space to positively impact the community. However, pressing a “reset button” on the entire program, staff, schools, and volunteers is NOT the way to transition into this new chapter. We are asking for your support in keeping the current legacy ALIVE. 

Please express your support to CONTINUE the Warner Nature Center’s legacy of helping people build lasting relationships with the natural world by signing and sharing the petition. 

Thank you for your support. Please visit for more information.

PLEASE, DO NOT DONATE. We are ONLY collecting signatures. 

These signatures will be collected and shared with the Manitou Fund to demonstrate the strength of the community’s support for continuing the legacy of the Warner Nature Center. 

Today: Warner is counting on you

Warner Citizens needs your help with “Manitou Fund: Show Your Support for Warner Nature Center’s Legacy”. Join Warner and 1,698 supporters today.