designed by Vitruvian Phi Art & Design Studio
Brukner Nature Center opened to the public in 1974 and is the vision of Clayton J. Brukner, local inventor and philanthropist. The 165 acre preserve is traversed by 6 miles of hiking trails and visitors can enjoy an Interpretive Building, Wildlife Ambassadors on display and the 1804 Iddings Log House.
Clayton J. Brukner was born December 18, 1896 in Ravenna, Nebraska. In 1923 with high school chum and business partner, E.J. "Sam" Junkin, he brought the Weaver Aircraft Company to Troy, Ohio. The company name was eventually changed to the WACO Aircraft Company, which soon became the most successful civil aircraft manufacturer of the pre World War II era.
Clayton Brukner was an entrepreneur, mechanical genius, and community philanthropist. He had a great love for nature and in 1933 bought 146 acres of land along the Stillwater River, not known for its productivity, but rather for its natural beauty. In 1967 he unveiled his plans to build a nature center on this site and in May of 1974, Brukner Nature Center opened to the public.
Brukner Nature Center is a privately funded, nonprofit organization promoting the appreciation and understanding
of wildlife conservation
education, and rehabil-
itation. The 1804 Iddings
log house was renovated
in 1980 and again in
2006. It is on the registry
of Historic Places as the oldest structure on its original site in Miami County!
Under the guidance of our first Directors, Bob & Joan Heidelberg, we grew to a 165-acre preserve with services reaching 21 counties. Today, we annually touch over 45,000 people with our innovative hands-on wildlife programming. Each year over 120,000 visitors enjoy our public events, take a stroll in the woods or visit with our wildlife ambassadors. in 1998 an addition to Interpretive Building doubled the size and provides handicap accessibility to all three floors including our popular Tree-top Bird Vista. In May of 2011 we opened a newly renovated interpretive area in our downstairs wildlife exhibit rooms. We also just completed our main lobby renovation in May 2016.