GODFREY - An observation platform at the Nature Institute will not be rebuilt after it sustained damage in a fire.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. The flames started on Wednesday night and reignited on Thursday morning. There were no electrical outlets near the platform or anything to suggest an electrical fire.

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It was built out there so that visitors could climb up to the top and really just kind of get a bird’s eye view of the prairie,” Ramona Pollard, the Institute’s outreach director, said. “It didn’t have anything on it. There were a few benches that people could sit on, but it was really just an overlook tower to get a good view of the prairie in bloom.”

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Pollard added that the prairie has been “absolutely beautiful” this year. She said they are not planning to rebuild the platform.

There have been enough instances of vandalism out there recently that it just wouldn’t be a wise choice at this point,” Pollard said.

The Nature Institute is a nonprofit organization in Godfrey that focuses on conservation and education. They offer walking trails and various programming for community members. To learn more about the Institute, visit their website.

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