New Paved Trail at The Nature Institute 

By Stephen Kern

“A place of peace and learning.” The Nature Institute is a non-profit, land conservation organization located in Godfrey, IL, just off of Levis Lane. Their focus is on environmental education, preservation, and restoration. They promote awareness and appreciation to the natural world around us and host a variety of events every week for children and adults. Every year they host approximately 8,000 students of all grades for camps and field trips. At The Nature Institute and Talahi Lodge there is a stunning overlook view of the Mississippi River, wildlife, and a brand new paved trail.

The Olin Nature Preserve, the Mississippi Sanctuary, the Kemp and Cora Hutchinson Bird Sanctuary, and the Heartland Prairie Project at Gordon Moore Park are also owned and managed by the TNI team. These preservation areas, over 450 acres of protected land, offer natural diversity to the public with scenery like wetlands, forests, and prairies.

Founded in 1980, John M. Olin was granted 501(c)(3) status and began volunteer stewardship for The Nature Institute and the Talahi Lodge. Talahi Lodge, what was once a residential summer camp, now offers a number of activities and amenities such as full kitchens, restrooms, picnic tables, campfires, an outdoor classroom, and of course, beautiful scenery. Aune Nelson, a benefactor for the organization, thought that children should learn about and appreciate nature so that they would grow up protecting it. Volunteers like her are the reason the camp has been successful for over 25 years!

If you would like to learn more and view the calendar for upcoming events, field trips, camp,newsletter, and donations for The Nature Institute, visit

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