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Nature Center Animals Play Key Role in Delivering Our Mission

Posted Mar 06, 2018

The exhibit hall inside the Nature Center at Asbury Woods is home to 27 animals and a bee colony, all of which are used for our educational activities for visiting school groups, summer camps and community programs. As caretakers of these animals, the Asbury Woods staff takes responsibility for their wellbeing by providing each with an appropriate diet, a clean environment, preventative medications and enrichment activities such as play time outside their exhibits. All of the animals at Asbury Woods are acquired specifically for educational purposes, not taken from the wild. They go through a slow process of introduction to their exhibits, becoming familiar with their human handlers and are assessed for readiness before being included in a public program.

Our animals play an integral part in helping us fulfill our mission to inspire a greater sense of environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship. The exhibit animals are often the gateway into learning experiences that highlight species native to our state and region, the natural food sources those animals need to survive in the wild and the role we can each play in protecting natural spaces where animals and humans can both thrive.

Our grey trey frog is a perfect example of an animal ambassador who helps open the conversation with children about broader scientific and environmental topics. Children are drawn to the idea of seeing the grey tree frog up close, touching him, wondering what his skin feels like, etc. Our educators are experts at using that interaction as a launching pad to the conversation about habitat, nocturnal animals, animals who can camouflage themselves and how they might see or hear grey tree frogs on the trails of Asbury Woods or in their own backyards.

Your support of Asbury Woods helps ensure we can provide the animals in our care with an optimal living environment where they can make a positive impact.