The Nature Center and Farm has a new name — same great mission.

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Will Smith Amphitheater Ribbon Cutting with Susan Naylor

Herff Farm

Will Smith Amphitheater Ribbon Cutting with Susan Naylor

If you are ever needing a bit of inspiration in your life, you need look no further than the new Will Smith Amphitheater at Herff Farm. Susan Naylor named the beautiful new space for her late son, Will, who passed away in a car accident at the age of 8 years old.

The amphitheater is tucked between the renovated historic barn and the Herff House with a beautiful view of the sprawling nature and cypress-lined Cibolo Creek. It’s not unusual to see deer grazing beside it in the early morning mist.

This new feature of the farm is a beacon of hope and a reminder that one day soon our community will be able to gather there to share stories, music, and laughter. The possibilities are endless, and we are all looking forward to having people there amongst the deer, squirrels, and other wildlife that scamper around it now.

Next time you come to the Farmers Market, take a moment to walk over and stand on the stage and imagine what will be there. Picture the rows filled with excited, smiling faces and the doors of the historic barn thrown open with lights twinkling in the rafters. This is a space for our community, a space for you to create memories, have experiences with friends and family and enjoy a performance or class outside in nature. We know you will all be a huge part of creating what this is with us.

The realization of this dream wouldn’t be possible without Susan Naylor and The Will Smith Foundation she created in Will’s memory. Many nonprofits in our area owe the realization of their dreams to Susan Naylor.

Inspired by her son’s giving spirit, Susan Naylor turned her unimaginable loss and grief into an incredibly positive organization that helps dreams come true. The mission of the Will Smith Foundation is to “provide positive life experiences for children by partnering with other nonprofit organizations that are focused on children and how to make their lives better in Texas, Hawaii and Africa.”

This broad mission gives the foundation the freedom to fund any project that will create an impact on children’s lives. While the Cibolo is for everyone, we have always had a particular focus on children. We provide outdoor recreation and education opportunities for children in the outdoors, from our popular summer camps to our gardening programs to our field trips.

Children are the future stewards of the environment, and while we provide a broad spectrum of educational offerings, the most impactful thing we do at the Cibolo is creating space for children to experience the incredible joy of being in nature. Kids take it from there. They run down the trails, study leaves, exclaim over caterpillars and ask thousands of questions about the wildlife and plants all around them.

Susan Naylor, and the legacy of her son, Will Smith, have created a brand-new space where we can continue our mission in new and exciting ways. Now that the space is built and ready, we are all looking forward to seeing it filled with laughter, applause, and children’s smiling faces. Visit www.wilsmithfoundation.org to learn more about Will and his wonderful legacy.