The campaign to renovate Mill Creek MetroParks Ford Nature Center received a $1 million challenge grant from the Sand Hill Foundation of Menlo Park, California. The Sand Hill Foundation is a private family foundation established by the late Tom Ford and Susan Ford in 1995. The $3 million campaign to renovate the 106 year old former Robinson Mansion, which houses the Ford Nature Center, has raised $1 million to date. The challenge grant offered by the Sand Hill Foundation will match new donations to the campaign up to $1 million.
The estate was originally gifted to Mill Creek MetroParks in 1968 by the heirs of the late Judge John W. Ford. After a brief period of hosting the park’s administration offices, the site was transformed into the Ford Nature Center in 1972. Since then, many generations of Valley residents have enjoyed the exhibits, programs, walking trails and special events contained within the MetroParks. The Center receives over 14,000 school children visits every year.
“On behalf of the staff of the MetroParks and the board of directors of the Mill Creek MetroParks Foundation, I would like to express my gratitude to Susan Ford Dorsey for this generous gift. This gift will allow us to not only extend the mission of educating the park’s visitors about the natural wonders of the world for generations to come, but it also extends the wonderful legacy of the Ford Family here at Mill Creek,” says Chris Litton, Mill Creek MetroParks Director of Development.