Rich Patterson, who retired last month as director of the Indian Creek Nature Center, will be honored by the naming of a new outdoor feature for him and his family.
The Patterson Family Amphitheater will be constructed on a natural hillside as part of the nature center's planned Amazing Space project, which will create a new campus for the facility.
United Fire Group, The McIntyre Foundation, and Dee Ann McIntyre have donated a combined $400,000 for the amphitheater, which will include natural stone and grass seating, a fireplace and stage area. Tree canopy cover will shade the area and provide a natural setting.
Randy Ramlo, president and CEO of United Fire Group, said the donor group chose to recognize Patterson for his longstanding service to Indian Creek Nature Center.
"As the Nature Center embarks on its exciting future, it is fitting that part of the new project bears Rich’s family’s name," Ramlo said in a news release. "He has built the Nature Center and preserved countless natural resources — something our company strongly believes in.”
Patterson, his wife Marion and their children, Dan and Nancy, moved to Cedar Rapids from Kansas in 1978 where he had served as director of the Dillon Nature Center for four years. Patterson was director of Indian Creek Nature Center for almost 36 years -- all but four years of the organization’s history.
Patterson formally retired from Iowa's first and only privately owned and operated non-profit nature center on Feb. 28.