An unsurpassed naturalist and true Westcave icon, John Ahrns served as Westcave's sole Preserve director and lead educator from Westcave’s beginnings in 1976 until his retirement in 2010. John began his work at the Preserve by hauling more than 100 large garbage bags of trash out of the canyon. The trash had been brought and left there by decades of trespassers who were literally “loving Westcave to death."
Years later, when he had accomplished an astonishing restoration and protection of the Preserve, John set out to build an environmental education program by traveling to area schools and encouraging teachers to bring their students to Westcave. Our weekday offerings now attract more than 6,000 children each year. In the early part of this decade, John developed a field-based...more