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.
To safeguard against COVID-19, all programs and events at the BFEC have been canceled through July 31. Learn more about Kenyon's response to COVID-19.
Our preserve, with 9 miles of trails, is open to the public every day from dawn to dusk. At this time, it is not only safe to walk outside, but it's great for your mental, emotional and physical health. Come out and take a hike. Practice social distancing if you see anyone else on the trails. Keep dogs on a leash. Do not harvest mushrooms. Trail maps are available at the trail heads and all trails are clearly marked.
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 SPI every summer to offer engaging nature camps. Check the SPI website for more details. The BFEC is proud to support day camps offered by other local organizations each summer, including the Salvation Army, Behavioral Health Partners, and more. If you would like to bring your summer camp group to the BFEC, contact Noelle Jordan at jordan2 @kenyon.edu or at 740-427-5052.
Our Earth Day Festival with live animals will be back in 2021.
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. Please keep dogs leashed, and do not harvest mushrooms, wildflowers, herbs, etc.
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 2019 Fall Harvest Festival was our biggest ever with over 2,100 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 2020 Fall Harvest Festival is scheduled for October 17 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.