The mission of Fontenelle Forest is to provide a place where people can experience and enjoy the quiet wild of nature. We want to inspire current and future generations to care for the natural world. Fontenelle Forest conserves and preserves over 2,100 acres of natural land in Douglas and Sarpy County along the Missouri River with programming for residents living locally in the Metropolitan Omaha Area and partnerships that span throughout the state and region. Fontenelle Forest provides services in the areas of conservation, recreation, and education.
Tourism: Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods are Metropolitan Omaha Area tourist destinations. Both properties are beautiful natural settings that provide tourists with a location for physical activity, relaxation, reflection and enjoyment. Fontenelle Forest offers tourists 24 miles of maintained trails, a mile-long ADA accessible boardwalk, the Baright Gallery which features local, regional, and national artists, the Raptor Woodland Refuge, and the Acorn Acres natural playscape. Additionally, Fontenelle Forest’s new partnership with TreeRush Adventures offers tourists the opportunity to climb and zipline at a five-acre, aerial adventure park.
Conservation: Fontenelle Forest maintains a comprehensive land management policy, directed by a fulltime ranger staff. Conservation initiatives and activities include oak savanna, American elm, and prairie restoration, erosion control, wildlife management, maintenance of 24 miles of trail and a mile-long ADA accessible boardwalk, and invasive species control. Fontenelle Forest’s Land Stewardship team provides prescribed burning and land management training to local, state, regional, national, and international partner organizations. In 2017, Fontenelle Forest completed 17 prescribed fire burns resulting in 850 burned acres, performed non-fire restoration activity on 100 acres, and completed invasive species control on 200 acres. In 2018, Fontenelle Forest completed 7 prescribed fire burns resulting in 563 burned acres, performed restoration activity on 100 acres, and completed invasive species control on 250 acres.
Education: Fontenelle Forest educational opportunities include early childhood programs that serve children and their parents; extensive school district partnerships with Omaha, Bellevue, the Archdiocese, Council Bluffs, and Papillion La Vista Community Schools and out-of-school STEM and nature-based activities; scouting programs; nature camps; programs for adults and senior citizens, as well as informal education programs, activities, and exhibits.