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Connecting nature to people young and old through education.

Placer Nature Center Fund for Environmental Education

Founded in 1991, Placer Nature Center staff and community volunteers deliver environmental education programs to school children, families and community groups both at its 40 acre campus in Auburn and at school campuses across Placer County.

The Center partners as a resource for local schools, community groups, and agencies to deliver the knowledge and model the behaviors that make our community scientifically literate and ecologically sustainable.

The Placer Nature Center Fund for Environmental Education at Placer Community Foundation was established to provide permanent resources to support educational programming that connects young and old with their natural environment. The fund will grow through donations by members in the community. These gifts are then pooled and invested in the Community Foundation's long-term investment portfolio. As the fund grows, annual support for the Placer Nature Center will grow; enabling the Center's staff and volunteers to share the wonders of science and nature with children and community members so that they grow to become tomorrow’s environmental leaders.

The Placer Nature Center Fund for Environmental Education is established in loving memory of Gail S. Mackenroth, by her husband, David. Gail passed away in April, 2022, but memories of her and her devotion to children, the natural world and the work of Placer Nature Center will live forever through this Fund.

Gail was a lifelong naturalist, educator and passionate birder. Growing-up a farmgirl in southwest Ohio, Gail explored the region’s forests, streams and meadows, often on horseback. Her experiences left indelible impressions that fueled her lifelong work to preserve and protect nature by instilling a love for it in children. When she married and relocated to Sacramento, California, she devoted herself to conservation work in the American River Parkway and served for many years as President of the Board and docent at Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

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When her family relocated to Newcastle in 2006, Gail joined the Board of Directors for Placer Nature Center, where her experience and leadership helped Placer Nature Center grow to a thriving environmental learning center - serving tens of thousands of school children, teachers and families every year.


Gail’s warm and gentle temperament, her enduring sense of wonder and love for the natural world made her a natural teacher of children. When they visited Placer Nature Center on school field trips, Gail enchanted them when she shared nature and science concepts and undoubtedly planted the seeds that would grow and manifest in their choices to become environmental leaders. Gail’s legacy lives-on at Placer Nature Center.

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