About the Nature Center

Junior Explorer
Established in 2003, the Nature Center is a tax-exempt, nonprofit educational organization.  Our site is on 10 acres in Lakeside, next to the Big Springs Environmental Study Area, with 5 acres leased from the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside on its Mountain Meadow Recreation Complex.

We started WMNC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in 2005 and purchased the land for the Nature Center in 2007. After years of planning and tremendous community support, the Nature Center complex was fully functional in 2012. We are excited about the continuing development, and we are certain that the communities we serve will be, too!

We are a valuable resource for sponsors and donors to exhibit goodwill and concern about the future of our natural resources.

Our community service goals include the following:

  • Integrate our work and the work of supporting organizations to educate our visitors and encourage responsible action to better steward the natural resources in which we all share and care about.
  • Be an economic benefit to communities we serve by providing additional revenues from areas outside of the White Mountains.
  • Commit to and advocate sustainable multiple use of our lands and resources.
  • Serve the White Mountains as a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Our Vision

Connecting people through nature education, wildlife rehabilitation, and open space preservation in the White Mountains of Arizona.

To achieve our Vision, OUR MISSION is:

  1. Facilitate and provide programming and opportunities to support our region
  2. Engage in wide-ranging community partnerships
  3. Share our resources and facility for the benefit of the many White Mountain communities


  1. Active engagement as a characteristic of all our offerings
  2. Appreciation of natural diversity
  3. Promotion of good environmental stewardship
  4. Provide a center for our many communities
  5. Remain current and relevant


  1. Increase community engagement
    1. Partnerships
    2. Outreach and Marketing
    3. Consistent communication
  2. Enhance organizational development
    1. Members, Volunteers, Docents, and Board Members
    2. Cohesive, supportive, and productive engagement
  3. Sustain financial positions
    1. Meet our on-going expenses
    2. Fundraising initiatives
  4. Practice good stewardship including our sites, facilities, and nearby resources
    1. Monitor and address access and safety concerns
    2. Maintain our buildings and grounds
  5. Expand our programs and offerings
    1. Target specific and diverse populations
    2. Keep all our offerings both current and relevant

Management Team

Our management team has a great deal of experience in conserving and researching our earth’s natural resources. Our management team’s extensive experience ranges from managing wildlife in the Arizona Game and Fish Department to serving in the White Mountain Audubon Society.

Diana Butler President
Linet Ingels Secretary
Jim Snitzer Treasurer
Kathy Dahnk Past President
Building and Grounds Director
Lynn Krigbaum Discovery Series Director
Kal Mannis Educational Programs Director
Meghan Dorsett Discovery Learning Camp Director
 John Vuolo  Volunteer Director
Jeff Wolf  Wildlife Rehabilitation Director