Notes from the Executive Director, Brooks Paternotte
With my favorite holiday just two days away it is hard not to reflect on the last year and comment on being thankful. We are thankful here at Irvine for the incredible support we receive from the community – our members, generous donors, corporate sponsors and partners, and philanthropic foundations. This support allows for us to continue to provide high-quality environmental education to adults and children from around the region. It also helps us to be good stewards of our land and care for the animals entrusted to us all while delivering over 700 educational programs each year.
In addition, I am thankful to the dedicated staff and volunteers that make it all possible. These people work tirelessly to fulfill our mission of educating and inspiring current and future generations to explore, respect, and protect nature. To give you an idea, our volunteers logged over 13,000 hours of time helping us maintain our building and grounds, lead field trips, care for our animals, and assist with events – an astonishing figure for which we are extremely grateful.
Personally, I am humbled to be a part of this organization. The combination of generous community support, dedicated staff, and skilled volunteers proves to me that together we can make a positive impact on our environment while providing a space for everyone to engage with nature. As a result, I am confident that a next generation of stewards can be fostered and continue to recognize the significance of our connection to the natural world.