Serving the community is a central component of the BFEC's mission. Community members are invited to explore our 500-acre preserve, wildlife garden and almost nine miles of trail, which are open from dawn to dusk. The BFEC offers public programs and events such as star gazing, full moon hikes, prairie tours and an annual nature photography contest. The center regularly hosts field trips for Knox County elementary schools. Check the links below for more information or check the calendar for upcoming events.
The BFEC hosts school field trips for local school children every year. Since its inception in 1996, almost 23,000 elementary school children from throughout Knox County have visited. Programs offer hands-on, outdoor explorations to inspire curiosity and wonder about nature while addressing Ohio academic science standards. As of fall 2019, the BFEC is proud to reimburse every classroom for their transportation expenses to/from our facility for field trips. This is possible because of generous support from the Knox County Foundation and many dedicated private donors.
The BFEC offers programs every month on topics such as star gazing, winter tree ID, wild edible plants or hunting for salamanders. Check our calendar often or join our mail/email list and receive regular notices.
The BFEC partners with several local organizations to host day camps for children. Thanks to SPI and the Gund Gallery for some great 2018 summer camps. For 2019 SPI/BFEC camps, check the SPI website. Other summer opportunities will be posted soon!
We will celebrate Earth Day this year on Saturday, April 20! Bring the whole family to "meet" to animals up close and learn how to support local wildlife in your own backyard. Check here for details.
Runners and walkers of all ages are always welcome on the trails at the BFEC. With almost 9 miles of trails, you can enjoy hardwood forests, restored tall grass prairies and other ecosystems.
Photographs of our natural world remind us of the beauty to be found when we take the time to look. Every year, community members are invited to enter this contest in celebration of our scenic Knox County. Photographs are due in mid-October, and a contest show takes places during our Fall Harvest Festival. Prizes are awarded in adult, children's (15 and under) and student divisions. Visit the photo contest page for entry guidelines.
Our 2018 Fall Harvest Festival was our biggest ever with over 1,800 guests. The horse-drawn hayrides, pumpkin decorating, live music, cider press, and children's games & activities were big hits. Thanks to everyone for coming out! Our 2019 Fall Harvest Festival is scheduled for October 19, 2019, from 12 - 4 p.m. This FREE annual event provides fun for the whole family.
For over 100 years, the Audubon Society has organized the Christmas Bird Count to track long term trends in bird populations across the Americas. The BFEC monitors birds right here in Knox County, covering Mt. Vernon, Gambier, Apple Valley and Fredericktown. Participants count birds at home feeders or in the field along roads and trails. Contact the BFEC anytime of year to let us know you'd like to help. Email Noelle Jordan at email@example.com or call 740-427-5052.