Our mission is to bring individuals and community-minded organizations together to support the vision of inspiring stewardship of the natural world through exceptional experiences to benefit future generations at the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita, Kansas

Our Friends Enjoy These Perks

Gift Shop Discount

You'll get a 10% discount to the Owl's Nest Gift Shop just for joining the Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center. The Owl's Nest stocks eclectic gifts and nature books you won't find anywhere else!

Prairie Post

Open a world of possibilities twice a month with your subscription to the Prairie Post eNews from the Great Plains Nature Center. Our Friends also get an exclusive, mailed Prairie Post edition twice a year.

Reciprocal Benefits

You'll enjoy the benefits of the Reciprocal Program from the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) with free or discounted admissions and/or gift shop perks at over 150 locations in the United States and Canada. 

Join Us and Make a Difference!




We help spread the word and provide needed resources for the GPNC to provide nature education to over 58,000 students annually. The Friends deliver needed support from over 20 corporate partnerships and hundreds of individuals just like you each year.


Volunteers gave over 5,000 hours of service at our educational events and in habitat restoration and trash removal teams last year. The Friends coordinate all volunteer support from individuals and corporate teams every month.


Food and Vet Care for animal ambassadors at the GPNC and the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit in Riverside Park are fully supported by our Friends. We ensure that they get the best care 24/7, 365 days a year.


The Director of Development, Volunteer & Event Coordinator, Animal Care Naturalist, Digital Lead Naturalist, Business Manager, Owl's Nest Gift Shop Team, and the Animal Care Clerk positions are all fully supported by our Friends.

The Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center Board of Directors

Board elections are held each February.

President: Andy Adams

President-elect: Morgan Barnes

Secretary: Sarah Shaffer

Treasurer: Caroline Gadbury

Past President: Kathy Frieze

Elizabeth Barker

Tanica Witt

Laura Fent

Brittany French

Heather Haines

Mary Liz Jameson

Jon Myers

Todd Ramsey

Lisa Dodson

Shannon Fisher


Vice President: Bob Gress - ex officio

Vice President: Jim Mason - ex officio

Vice President: Lorrie Beck - ex officio

Vice President: Todd Lewis - ex officio

Amanda Alessi - ex officio for City of Wichita Parks & Recreation

Emily Davis - ex officio for Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

Victoria Burnett - ex officio for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service