By Jessica Kartalija

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (WJZ) — It’s an incredible gift that will continue giving for years to come.

A generous donation allowed Irvine Nature Center in Baltimore County to purchase more than 90 additional acres in the Caves Valley three years ago. Now, new trails and outdoor learning spaces will be open to the public following a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, family festival and 5K on June 23.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be opening the Bauer Preserve,” said Brooks Paternotte, Irvine’s executive director. “Adding 93 more acres to Irvine’s campus, bringing it to 210 acres. Open and free to the public seven days a week.”

From his family’s trust, the Charles T. Bauer Charitable Foundation, Baltimore native Ted Bauer awarded the grant to Irvine.

“It’s gratifying to know that you’re able to do something for the preservation of Baltimore County,” Bauer said. “Not to mention the service it provides for city schools and the opportunity for students to come out and learn about nature and how important it is to protect the environment.”

Bauer, who owns the Oregon Grille and The Valley Inn, says Bauer Preserve is a tribute to his father who loved the outdoors.

Irvine’s mission is to teach current and future generations to explore, respect and protect nature.

With new hiking trails and outdoor learning centers, their mission is thriving.

“When you go out there and look, what you see today is what you are going to see in hopefully 10, 20 and 50 years,” Paternotte said. “I’m excited that my children and my grandchildren will have the same experience here that I’ve had.”

The Summer Solstice Family Festival and Sunset 5K will take visitors through Irvine’s 210 acres of trails. All proceeds support Irvine Nature Center.

Click here to register.

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