In 1933 Clayton Brukner, owner of the WACO Aircraft Company, bought 146 acres of land along the Stillwater River. The land was not known for its productivity but rather for its natural beauty. Here were wooded hills and valleys, a great variety of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, streams and perpetually flowing springs.
Mr. Brukner envisioned the land being used for a nature center for many years. In 1966 he had the land surveyed and after receiving high praise to the educational potential he started putting his plan into motion. In 1967 he unveiled his plans for the center to a group representing 12 local schools and one local university. In 1974 the center was opened to the public under the direction of Bob and Joan Heidleberg.
Through the years Brukner Nature Center has grown to a 165 acre nature preserve dedicated to environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation. Six miles of trails traverse a variety of habitats including wetland, forest, and prairie. The Interpretive Building houses an Auditorium and meeting rooms available for educational events, a nature shop featuring local artists, and wildlife exhibit, including over 40 wildlife ambassadors.
Brukner nature Center is a non-profit Privately funded Organization promoting the appreciation and understanding of wildlife conservation through preservation ,education, and rehablitation