The Goodrich Foundation has awarded the Chula Vista Nature Center a $20,000 grant to help fund construction of an outdoor classroom and Discovery Park at the preserve located near the Goodrich Aerostructures campus. A fixture on the South Bay for more than 23 years, the Chula Vista Nature Center welcomes about 65,000 visitors each year, including about 13,000 students from schools across the greater San Diego area. The 23-acre preserve is home to more than 150 native species of animals and nearly 200 native plant species.

Roger Ross, vice president, Regional and Engine Programs for Goodrich Aerostructures, was recently appointed to the Nature Center’s board of directors, and said the grant will help embellish one of the area’s natural treasures. “As a good neighbor of the Nature Center, we’re pleased to be part of this effort to strengthen the center’s ability to connect people of all ages — especially students — with nature,” Ross said. “The new area will benefit thousands of people, from visiting students to campers in the Overnight Adventures program and fits perfectly with the company’s goal of furthering all types of science education.”

The new park and classroom area will double the capacity for onsite field trips and day camp programs and will feature hands-on learning. The area will include fencing, benches made from recycled plastic and picnic tables along the periphery, as well as a stage and shaded area for animal and educational presentations.

“The outdoor classroom and Discovery Park project started as a seed of an idea that grew into a big picture plan for developing an unused space into a dynamic outdoor area to be used by thousands each year,” said Julie Schardin, director of development for the Chula Vista Nature Center. “We realized that we had a true opportunity to make something special in this natural area. One idea led to another until a comprehensive plan to transform an underutilized space into a multipurpose outdoor place that can be used by visiting students on field trips, campers, military groups, pre-schoolers, families and refuge visitors.”

Total cost of the outdoor classroom and Discovery Park project will be about $100,000. The Nature Center was formerly part of the City of Chula Vista, but due to City budget cuts, was spun off into an independent nonprofit organization beginning in 2009. Information on the Nature Center and its programs is available at http://www.chulavistanaturecenter.org/.

Goodrich Corporation, (NYSE: GR) a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to aerospace, defense and homeland security markets. With one of the most strategically diversified portfolios of products in the industry, Goodrich serves a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and service facilities. For more information visit http://www.goodrich.com.

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