Helping fellow nonprofit organizations leverage the Cincinnati community is what the ToolBank aims to do, so we love seeing our blue tools in the hands of Cincinnati Nature Center volunteers who do just that. The Cincinnati Nature Center, which has been around for over 50 years, is a nonprofit organization that maintains award-winning nature trails and nature-based education programs. The center aims to inspire conservation in the community.
Because the Nature Center provides a variety of interactive initiatives, volunteers are needed to make the programs successful. Marissa Tucker, head of the Center’s volunteer program, recognizes the value of volunteers. The Center has about 400 continuous volunteers that help the organization with all their efforts; the ToolBank’s partnership is needed to gather tools and equipment that support the volunteer program. “The ToolBank allows us to leverage people that want to help. Their partnership provides our volunteers with tools, and volunteers take it from there,” said Marissa. She added that, because the Nature Center only uses certain equipment a few times per year, it makes more sense to borrow necessary tools from the ToolBank to preserve the Nature Center’s funds and storage space.
Previously, the Nature Center has used the ToolBank’s special event equipment to host fundraisers and education initiatives. These events include the Center’s annual “Hoots and Hops” and “Preparing for the Night” Fundraisers, both of which deck the center’s nature trails with education stations to teach the community about wildlife and conservation efforts while simultaneously raising funds for center’s efforts. For these events, the center borrows pop-up tents and coolers to make their space welcoming for attendees.
The center also rents the ToolBank’s drills to complete large landscaping projects, such as extensive planting projects and tapping into maple trees for sap. Drills are needed for the center’s DIY mushroom log class too, during which participants drill holes into logs for mushrooms to be planted. By borrowing drills from the ToolBank, the Nature Center saves a tremendous amount of money given that the tools are gathered for a fraction of their retail price.
Marissa affirmed the ToolBank’s services make the Nature Center’s efforts easier and affordable. She declared that the Nature Center will continue using blue tools and equipment throughout 2019, particularly for a national conference they’re hosting in August, tapping maple trees for sap, and completing large landscaping efforts. “It makes sense to have an organization that empowers everyone,” exclaimed Marissa, “and that’s what the ToolBank does.”