The Nature center is home to a quite a few education animals. From Captain Crunch the snapping turtle to Broccoli the bullfrog, these animals are put to use to help teach kids about the natural world. Some of the animals come with me to schools and some stay here at the nature center, but all of them are important, in that they give kids first hand exposure to animals.
The elementary school science programs we teach on topics like ecology and habitats are accented with live animals to help bring home points about animal adaptations and food webs. For the more advanced curriculum of middle-schoolers, we have programs about the diversity of life on earth and invasive species, in which our live animal collection is also put to use.
During our after school programs and our summer camp, our education animals are a big part of the show, as feeding time and exercise time can be enjoyed by the kids.
While we use animals in our programs and help with advice about wildlife, the nature center is not a vet office or an animal shelter. If an animal is injured I can give you advice on what the best options are. More often than not wild animals do not need our help. If you have an unwanted pet please do not drop it off here! I might be able to help with getting it to a good home, but please call first.
Feel free to give a call with questions about wildlife and what, if anything, needs to be done help them.
See you on the trails! Marc Gussen, Naturalist