Eaton Hill Nature Center and Preserve has received notification from the Internal Revenue Service that they qualify for tax exemption.

Executive Director Brook Wood made the announcement Thursday, June 18.

An IRS document shows that the organization’s 501C-3, non-profit, status was reinstated retroactive. Eaton Hill is classified as a public charity, according to the IRS.

“Based on the information you submitted in your application, we approved your request for reinstatement under Revenue Procedure 2014-11. Your effective date of exemption, as listed at the top of this letter (June 4, 2020), is retroactive to your date of revocation (February 2019),” the document states.

Eaton Hill lost its nonprofit status in 2019 for failure to file annual tax returns.

Currently, Eaton Hill is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3). Therefore, donors may deduct contributions they make to Eaton Hill under IRC Section 170. Additionally, Eaton Hill is allowed to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522.

Wood said in addition to receiving tax deductible donations and gifts, the organization is also now able to apply for grants.

While awaiting the reinstatement, Eaton Hill has begun to reopen to the public. The nature center was temporarily closed to the public due to the mandatory statewide COVID-19 shutdown. However, the trails remained open.

“During the COVID-19 shut down the trails were still open and we made sure there were maps at the trailheads at all times,” Wood said. “Occasionally, a visitor would show up and I would give a tour, asking that masks be worn and providing hand sanitizer to keep each other safe. The nature center was closed, but I was up here every day taking care of the animals (feeding, cleaning enclosures and interaction) and doing all the other myriad things that must be done on a daily basis to keep the center running.”

In past weeks, two birthday celebrations have taken place at Eaton Hill. Both were “big hits,” she added.

Wood said she is looking forward to getting back to normal again.

She said programs will begin soon for both nature and art. A schedule will be available soon.