Nourishing everyone's need for nature

The campaign for Dodge Nature Center & Preschool

Our vision & goal

Dodge Nature Center and Preschool began over 50 years ago with Olivia Irvine Dodge’s vision to preserve the natural beauty of a rapidly urbanizing Twin Cities and to teach people of all ages the importance of caring for the environment. This campaign seeks to build access for thousands of more diverse visitors, to improve sustainability and preservation of our historic buildings and natural spaces, and to extend Mrs. Dodge’s legacy for generations to come.


Gifts committed


Progress to goal


This campaign for Dodge Nature Center and Preschool will address three vital areas:


Reduce and remove barriers so that everybody has access to the nourishing power of nature.

Update selected lots and trails with environmentally friendly designs that will create a better experience for guests with accessibility needs.

Expand outreach to underrepresented populations to make our natural spaces and nature-based learning accessible to all in our community.

Provide affordability and accessibility of Dodge Nature Center Preschool to all families who want to take advantage of nature-based education.


Update and preserve our historic buildings and natural spaces, expand staff to meet programming demands, and sustain the tradition of the grounds being free and open to all.

Expand staff to develop new programming opportunities for adults and underserved populations and to preserve our natural spaces.

Upgrade facilities to increase program and mission impact, including:

  • Shepard Farm buildings to create functional classroom and program space

  • Solar panels at the Main Property to reduce Dodge’s carbon footprint and as a teaching tool about the impacts of climate change

  • Commercial Farm Kitchens to provide new educational opportunities for adults and older children

Keep the trails free and open for everyone to enjoy year-round.


Extend the legacy of Olivia Irvine Dodge to ensure that Dodge remains a relevant, accessible sanctuary in the middle of a busy metropolitan area for the next 50 years.

Welcome an ever-increasing number of children, adults, and families for generations to come.

Provide more resources to support the volunteers whose dedication of time and talent to preservation, programming, and restoration projects contributes to the legacy of this amazing nature center.

Secure the future of Dodge Nature Center and Preschool by expanding legacy giving opportunities and increasing the endowment.

Campaign materials

For more details about the Nourishing Everyone’s Need for Nature Campaign, please read our full Case Statement.

Ways to give


$35 Million Goal

Gifts to the endowment ensure the near- and long-term stability of Dodge Nature Center and Preschool. Contributions can be made through a combination of outright and planned gifts.

Interested in making a planned gift to Dodge? Check out the Egret Society for more information!

Capital Projects

$3 Million Goal

Gifts to capital projects advance the transformation of the buildings and grounds on the Main Property and at Shepard Farm. Contributions can be made through outright gifts and pledges.

Learn more about the various Dodge locations throughout the East metro.

Annual Fund

$2 Million Goal

Gifts to the annual fund provide flexibility to meet new and emerging needs. Thanks to a generous donor, all new and increased gifts to the annual fund will be matched, up to $1 million.

If you would like to make a leadership level gift to the Annual Fund, consider joining the Wildflower Society!

Naming Opportunities

The Nourishing Everyone’s Need for Nature Campaign is a transformative moment for Dodge Nature Center and Preschool. All gifts to the campaign will have a tremendous impact on the future of nature-based education and environmental stewardship. The campaign will also provide naming opportunities for new and existing buildings, programs, positions, and natural settings. Interested individuals, corporations, and foundations are encouraged to contact the Development Office for more information.

Shepard Farm

Education Building
Stable Complex

West St. Paul

Farm Education Building
Main Office
School House
Sugar Shack
Named endowment funds

Executive Director

Restoration Specialist

Naturalist Endowment

Volunteer Endowment

Naturalist Fellowship


Building & Grounds


Preschool Scholarship

Nature naming opportunities




Leadership donors

Reflecting on the history and the vision for the future, Dodge Nature Center and Preschool’s inspiration has been to celebrate and respect the foresight of Olivia Irvine Dodge. As we honor her legacy, we also humbly recognize the transformational support of the following Leadership Donors:

Committed gifts of

  • Anonymous

Committed gifts of

  • Si and Vicki Ford

Committed gifts of

Committed gifts of

  • Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation

Committed gifts of

  • The Driscoll Foundation
  • Slaggie Family Foundation

Committed gifts of

  • Anonymous (3)
  • Kari and Scott Anderson
  • Chadwick and Margaret Dayton
  • Ecolab Foundation
  • Hardenbergh Foundation
  • Virginia and John McCain
  • David Schmidt and Sara Klasky

Committed gifts of

  • Anonymous (2)
  • Butler Family Foundation
  • Dellwood Foundation
  • Gigi Doerr Simmons
  • Litton and Anne Field
  • Allan Klein and Harriet Lansing
  • Nicholson Family Foundation
  • McNeil and Mary Seymour

Committed gifts of

  • Anonymous
  • Thomas Good
  • Horace H. Irvine III
  • Alice Mairs
  • Marathon
  • Paco and Alma Medina
  • Jason and Heather Sanders
  • The Toro Company Foundation
  • Donald Weesner Charitable Trust

Committed gifts of

  • Anonymous
  • Hugh J. Andersen Foundation
  • Sara and Clint Beckstrand
  • Deluxe Corporation Foundation
  • Peter and Christine Garretson
  • Jean and Bruce Johnson
  • Esther Kellogg
  • Thomas and Anne Marie Peltier
  • Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
  • Stanley and Lucy Shepard

Thank you for your consideration. Please contact us with any questions.

Jason Sanders | Executive Director

Dodge Nature Center and Preschool

365 Marie Avenue W

West St. Paul, MN 55118

Main: 651-789-5235