We have big goals and dreams in mind for Red Oaks! Many of these goals and dreams depend on creating a center for nature and the arts where we can cultivate a love of nature in a safe and creative space. This space will be built with the least impact to the environment as a model of sustainable building and resource use.
Nature & Art Center
Our primary fundraising mission at this time is to build a sustainable nature and art center. This center is fundamental to providing some of the programs we feel will benefit the community at large. The unique and nature inspired design will be a model for sustainable building.
artist in residence
Art is a gift, plain and simple. We all benefit from being exposed to art and creating art. Our dream is to offer an artist in residence program in the future, that supports artists and generates new art at Red Oaks. We hope this will inspire the local community to learn and appreciate art and raise up new artists within the community. This artist will be a model for what an artist can do with the right support and a great example for the kids.
Community gardening and Agroforestry
A community garden will give people a chance to learn new skills, work together, gain an appreciation for where food comes from, and literally grow together. Eastern Kentucky is considered a food desert because of the lack of vegetables and fruits and whole foods available to the local community. Our goal is to help our members while also helping the community access healthy foods. We also desire to grow food that can be grown within the natural landscape such as shiitake mushrooms and blackberries.
We believe in the healing power of nature. We aim to provide opportunities for quality, place-based educational programs for underserved populations in Eastern Kentucky. By partnering with local schools and institutions, Red Oaks will identify and serve the area's at-risk youth in a safe and compassionate learning environment.
Educational workshops for adults
By providing educational and nature-based workshops for adults, we can inspire people to share that knowledge with their families and friends and extend our outreach. We will invite local and regional experts to come and share their experiences and knowledge with local people and those visiting the Red River Gorge.
Weekend, summer and weekday camps
We hope to offer a place for kids to have a fun and safe way to spend time in a nurturing environment while on school breaks, in addition to helping parents bridge the gap between school breaks and employment responsibilities.
In addition, we will provide weekend programs for people visiting the area that would like educational and fun programing for their kids while they engage in local activities like world-class rock climbing, strenuous hikes, cave tours or ziplining that might be too risky for young children.
Citizen science opportunities
Citizen science is a wonderful way to learn more about your local environment and get connected to others who share your passion. Through watershed watch, bird monitoring, monarch tagging, and much, much more; we plan to provide a home base to learn and contribute to scientific study for as many programs as we can. These opportunities can transfer over into personal research projects that will be great experience for kids entering college.
There is no limit to what we can do when we work together. There are so many ways to get involved in helping with some of the challenges facing our environment from organized litter patrol, to exotic species removal, to watershed monitoring. We will help organize these opportunities to give you a chance to give back!