Why Now?

Suddenly Uprooted After 30 Years…

In 2020, an unexpected disruption compelled The Institute to leave its former home at Renfrew Park—after 30 years.

Help us ensure that The Institute—now Buttonwood Nature Center—will have a secure home for the next 30 years and beyond—and our community will have access to a state-of-the-art nature education center, living classroom and immersive programming designed to educate and inspire visitors of all ages.

Ensuring the Future is Buttonwood Nature Center’s campaign to create an independent nature education center and living classroom, providing a hub in the Waynesboro, Pa. area to serve the local and regional communities with experiences and programs that inspire and delight. This project will not only ensure our ability to fulfill our mission into the future; it will also help to preserve both wild and historic places.

The Institute purchased the 40-acre property very near Waynesboro, Pa., boasting a large pond, shady streams, rolling meadows, and existing woodland trails. This park-like setting, now called Buttonwood Nature Center, will serve as an immersive living classroom. It will also be a place for families to enjoy outdoor recreation, quiet contemplation, and the arts.

Although we have a new name, our mission is unchanged—to guide the people of the Cumberland Valley region to become stewards of their natural and cultural worlds.

Buttonwood Nature Center, home of The Institute, exists to educate, inspire and unite people around shared interests. Since 1990, we have provided valuable experiences to learners of all ages in the natural world and historical settings.

Our programs include science-based environmental education and cultural history experiences for elementary and secondary school children, research in natural and cultural history for all ages, as well as rich hands-on learning opportunities. We create programs that entertain and inform the community.

How to Make a Contribution to the Ensuring the Future Capital Campaign

Use the Make a Donation or Make a Pledge button to the right—or, send a check to:
Tracy Holliday, Executive Director
Buttonwood Nature Center
P.O. Box 971, Waynesboro, PA 17268

Please make checks out to: Buttonwood Nature Center, and write Capital Campaign in the memo area

Make a donation online through PayPal or credit card, using the button above.

To make a multi-year pledge, please download our pledge form using button above.