About the Spirit of Alexandria Foundation

The Spirit of Alexandria Foundation supports all of the things important to Alexandria Bennett - the wonder of nature, the quest for knowledge, the potential of life and the beauty and interest in everything around us. She had a voracious appetite for knowledge and had an understanding of many things beyond her young age.

We, her family and friends, have pledged through the Foundation to continue her quest by helping others experience the wonderment she felt and the vision she had to help others through education and scientific understanding of nature. The Foundation will work in cooperation with organizations that have similar missions, to fund projects that make nature more accessible to children or individuals in low income areas and those with special needs within the meaning of section 501(c)(3).

Through the Spirit of Alexandria Foundation, it is our mission to create a safe space for children to grow in their knowledge and love for the natural world, and in turn spark a new generation of environmentally-conscious explorers.

Foundation Programs

One of our initial projects included planting a natural garden at the Charyl Stockwell Academy, a public charter school Alexandria attended, in Howell, Michigan. The garden provides inspiration to children for decades by allowing them the opportunity to learn about plants native to Michigan and about the life cycle of butterflies in an outdoor class setting.

Soon the foundation launched a program to provide an annual scholarship to students in grades 7-9 to attend the Field Ecology Middle School Program at the Teton Science Schools in Jackson, Wyoming. The foundation has sent 29 students to visit the Greater Yellowstone Eco-System from 2006-2014; in 2015 the Michigan Adventure Trip replaced the MSFE Program.

One of the foundation’s primary focus’ are the Mobile Classrooms, Alexandria’s Nature Buses - Sort of a real life “magic school bus” outfitted with informational pieces and experts that bring interactive lessons to the greater Detroit area. The Mobile Classroom is used as a tool to bring kids to nature in hopes of teaching them about the world around them and how to protect it now and for the future.

The Spirit of Alexandria and Howell Nature Center of Howell, Michigan teamed up in 2009 to provide a sanctuary for children and adults alike to explore and learn. This relationship continues to thrive today. Alexandria’s Nature Scape came to be at the Nature Center, an educational “playground” where kids can float, climb, feel, hear and dig their way through their curiosity.

The latest project, Alexandria’s Treehouse, was completed in fall of 2015. It is a truly remarkable 20-foot high structure where children and adults can come together to learn about nature while high above the ground, including various activities and programs.

Throughout the past 10 years, the Spirit of Alexandria Foundation has made over 162,000 connections to nature. What started out as a way to cope with a great loss, has turned into something incredible and awe-inspiring. Alexandria continues to be a source of inspiration for Craig and Leah as well as the people that work closely with them.

Board Members

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President

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Vice President

Jim Bartel

Secretary

Bud Bennett

Treasurer

Ryan Spencer

Director of Communications

Rob Fisher

Director of Development

Don Roberts

Manager of Grants

Alternate Board Members

Britt Smart

Danielle Nolan-Eickholt

Chelsea Nolan

Advisory Board Members

Elizabeth Bennett

Corrine Bartel

Janice Bennett