WSW: What's Next For The Kalamazoo Nature Center And Its Retiring CEO?

Apr 26, 2018

Bill Rose
Credit Gordon Evans / WMUK

Kalamazoo Nature Center CEO Bill Rose says following H. Lewis Batts was a little intimidating when he began the job in 1989. Rose he tried to build on the legacy that was handed off to him, and says his successor should do the same thing.


Rose is retiring in at the end of the month. He is one of only two men ever to lead the Nature Center. Batts was one of its founders in 1960. Rose he would like to think that stability in leadership at the Kalamazoo Nature Center has made it stronger. The Nature Center has been trying to find audiences they weren’t reaching, according to Rose. He says that includes lower income families and people of color. Rose says outreach programs have been developed to send people to some of the city’s predominantly minority neighborhoods.

More programs, outreach and growing the main campus cost money. Rose says the Nature Center has been able to connect with the community and with donors, large and small. He says a proven track record has helped make the case for donations. Rose says strategic planning helped ensure that new facilities can be maintained and new programs implemented.

Rose says it wasn’t easy to decide on a retirement date. But he says it’s time for the next generation of leaders at the Nature Center. Rose says he hopes the Nature Center will continue to thrive and grow after his retirement.