The Nature of Wildworks, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), was founded by Mollie Hogan in 1995 to bring to life her vision of providing interactive wildlife educational programs to enhance the public's understanding of nature and the environment while also ensuring lifetime quality care for non-releasable wild animals.
At our Wildlife Care and Education Center in Topanga, California, we provide a home for over 50 animals, mostly species native to California, who were either displaced from zoos, confiscated illegally owned "pets", or rescued orphaned or injured wildlife.
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The Nature of Wildworks has a two-fold mission. One is to provide life long quality care for non-releasable wild animals. This means plenty of love and attention as well as the employment of various enrichment techniques to keep the animals stimulated and entertained.
Secondly, The Nature of Wildworks strives to build public respect and concern for native wildlife and the California environment through student programs that meet California school's curriculum mandates.
Wildworks is dedicated to assuming a key position of leadership in the education of the Southern California's school children about our state's native wildlife, their habitats and its fragile status.
The California State Board of Education has developed a standardized Science Framework throughout the entire K-12 Public School System. According to the Science Framework "Environmental problems which once received relatively little attention - invasive species of plants and animals, habitat fragmentation, and the loss of biodiversity - have suddenly become statewide priorities."
For example, Kindergarten students study life sciences to expand their observation skills and vocabulary by learning to describe the appearance and behavior of different animals and plants. Grade four life sciences curriculum requires students to learn about how living organisms depend on one another and their environment for survival. Programs such as those produced by the Nature of Wildworks provide direct and responsive teaching in exactly these areas.
Wildworks' presentations emphasize the need to not disturb or harm wildlife when it is encountered in its natural habitat and help dispel the fear of "wild" animals while educating the public about preserving habitats and living safely with the wildlife in our local environment.
Mollie Hogan saw first hand the positive effects of human interaction with nature during the twelve years she worked as a trainer and caregiver at the Los Angeles Zoo, and where she also participated in many of their public educational programs.
How many people will ever experience seeing these animals up close or hear the purr of a mountain lion? This once in a lifetime encounter can change people's perspective, and that is what Wildworks is all about. Seeing an animal up close and hearing its personal story, makes that animal an individual and makes us care about what happens to it, and by extension to all animals.
For children, seeing wildlife is an invaluable learning experience. "In the past, we have had to rely on books, the Internet, and videos to teach the students about animals. But this year, because of Wildworks, we were able to bring actual animals into our classroom and learn about them directly from you. Your program made a profound impression on our students. They talked about the animals for weeks. The students who did reports on one of the animals you brought with you were especially moved and inspired." Emily Ooms, 4th grade teacher at The Willows Community School in Los Angeles.
As a direct consequence of Wildworks visit to The Willows Community School, both fourth grade classes decided to do their community service on behalf of Wildworks. They planned lemonade stands and jogathons, skits and posters, and the students raised over $1,000 dollars for Wildworks. During the process, they not only learned about the animals and the importance of protecting their habitats, but they also learned about business, handling money, working as a team, and making a difference in the world.
YES, I want to help The Nature of Wildworks continue providing interactive wildlife educational programs to enhance the public's understanding of nature and the environment while also ensuring lifetime quality care for non-releasable wild animals. Click here to Contribute online now!