Aullwood's Mission and Operations
Aullwood Audubon enriches lives through education and stewardship of birds and ecosystems. We envision a world where birds thrive and people prosper, everyone is empowered to take conservation action, and diversity of life and thought is respected. You can learn more about Aullwood Audubon on this page, view the latest online Aullwood Audubon 2022 Annual Report, and download or view the latest Friends of Aullwood audited financial statements and Friends of Aullwood IRS Form 990 as well. These documents and others are also available as downloadable PDFs at the bottom of this page, under the "Downloadable Resources" heading.
Friends of Aullwood Board of Directors Racial Equality Statement, October 2020
The Friends of Aullwood Board of Directors (FoA Board) as a governing board of the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm (Aullwood) believe that positive organization growth and impact comes from an ever evolving awareness of the world around them. This includes understanding the past and present and utilizing that knowledge to help form a better future.
Our nation’s long shameful history of racial injustice and the evidence of its continued existence must be acknowledged, understood, condemned and never tolerated. The FoA Board recognizes that institutional racism permeates many of the policies, practices and attitudes in our society today. The dominance, belief in superiority and/or exploitation of privilege of one person or people over another based on race or the color of ones skin will never have a place in civilized society. This extends equally to all other protected classes of gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, country of origin, religion, age, physical or mental ability, citizenship and veteran status.
The FoA Board additionally echos the sentiments of the National Audubon Society (Audubon) in recognizing and condemning the disgraceful history of Audubon namesake, John James Audubon, as slaveholder and trader and promoter of a white supremacist culture. The many positive contributions of John James Audubon to the world of birds and conservation in general cannot erase these inhumane actions and beliefs. This shall forever remain a piece of his legacy, not to be forgotten.
The FoA Board will continue to promote an environment of equality and inclusion in all aspects of their operations and policies. At the same time the FoA Board encourages conversation and the sharing of knowledge, regardless of difficulty or comfort level, to further a better understanding of social injustice in any form and identify actions they can take within the scope of their Aullwood responsibilities to help avoid or rectify such injustice
Mikayla Burr, Center and Farm Discovery Assistant (she/her/hers)
Chris Coleman, Senior Assistant, Grounds and Maintenance
Laurie Cothran, Senior Manager, Development & Finance (she/her/hers)
Peter Evans, Senior Associate, Farm and Stewardship (he/him/his)
Ken Fasimpaur, IT Manager (he/him/his)
Danielle Hargrove, Center and Farm Discovery Assistant (she/her/hers)
Susan Havran, Senior Office Assistant (she/her/hers)
Bev Holland, Environmental Educator (she/her/hers)
Nenita Lapitan, Senior Manager, Center & Farm (she/her/hers)
Sam Romeo, Environmental Educator (he/him/his)
Chris Rowlands, Program Manager, Environmental Arts (he/him/his)
Christina "Phoenix" Simmons, Senior Environmental Educator (she/her/hers)
Julia Smith, Center and Farm Assistant (she/her/hers)
Barbara Trick, Guest Services Manager (she/her/hers)
Ryan Walburn, Maintenance Manager (he/him/his)
Arras Wiedorn, Public Programs Manager (she/they/theirs)
Marsha Williams, Center and Farm Discovery Assistant (she/her/hers)
Karen Will, Custodian (she/her/hers)
Friends of Aullwood Board of Trustees
July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024
Debra Bonifas Armanini - Vice President
Monica Snow - Secretary
Chad Downing - Treasurer
Hope Taft - Member at Large
Cindy Garner - Member at Large
Ex Officio/Honorary Members
Decades ago, Marie Aull gave her land to the Miami Valley, creating National Audubon Society's first nature center in the Midwest. Today as visitors explore the Marie S. Aull Education Center, walk the trails and experience Aullwood's sustainable farm, they discover why Aull's gift is a paragon among nature centers. More than 110,000 people of all ages engage in exciting on-site or outreach programs every year. By nourishing familiarity with nature and sustainable agriculture, Aullwood stimulates many visitors to environmental activism.
Marie Aull donated 70 acres of land to the National Audubon Society in 1957. She had approached John H. Baker, then President of the National Audubon Society, with the idea of creating the first nature center in the Midwest. Marie Aull had a great love for plants and animals. It was her idea to create a nature sanctuary where teachers and children could learn about plants, animals, and ecological concepts. It was her hope that these children would be taught by trained naturalists: people who were knowledgeable and sensitive to the land. Her intention to create the first nature center in the Midwestern United States, was realized with the opening of the Aullwood Audubon Center. Over 25,000 children received free 90-minute thematic guided programs.
In 1962, the 120 acre Antrim Farm adjacent to Aullwood Audubon Center was placed on the market. Mrs. Aull purchased the farm because proposed development would have drained the springs which fed the creek. The creek flows through the center’s land and even through Mrs. Aull’s garden. Mrs. Aull donated a portion of the land to the National Audubon Society. Mrs. Aull envisioned a children’s farm with livestock which children could see, touch and hear, and fields where they could watch crops grow. She felt it was important for people to understand the importance of the family farm in American culture. This facility was operated independently from the Center with a separate staff and budget. It too offered a variety of 90-minute field trips exploring agricultural life.
In 1978, the center and farm were combined into one operation with one staff. The facility was renamed Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm. In 1979, Friends of Aullwood was incorporated to generate greater community and financial support. In accordance with an agreement formalized between Audubon and Friends of Aullwood, Inc., on September 23, 1986, Friends of Aullwood assumed primary responsibility for funding the operation of Aullwood Audubon from Audubon. In 1989, the 120 acre farm was transferred to the Dayton Foundation, with management by Friends of Aullwood.
In 1995, 150 acres were added to Aullwood’s sanctuary through a long-term lease agreement with the Dayton International Airport. This land was converted in Ohio’s largest restored tallgrass prairie. The prairie is named in honor of retired education coordinator, Paul Knoop Jr. At this time Aullwood is no longer leasing the land from the airport.
To honor Marie Aull, the new $4.3 million education wing was built in 2000, the year of her 103rd birthday. Marie Aull died August 30, 2002, at the age of 105.
In 2012, the multimillion dollar Charity A. Krueger Farm Discovery Center was completed at Aullwood Farm, putting Aullwood 's educational farm on the cutting edge of sustainable education.
Today, Aullwood's farm, center and sanctuary make it one of the premier Audubon sites in the United States.