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Volunteer Spotlight: Alaina and Lilly Nichols

Students Share Love of Animals
by Volunteering

Alaina and Lilly Nichols have been visiting Asbury Woods for as long as they can remember. The sisters have always enjoyed seeing the animals in the exhibit hall the most, and looked into ways they could help care for the animals by volunteering. They joined the Animal Care Crew in 2020, and have enjoyed learning about caring for the animals by feeding, cleaning enclosures, and offering animal enrichment opportunities for the animals.

 “The first animal I learned to care for was Oliver, the Netherland dwarf rabbit. But, I also really love taking care of the two snakes and turtles. I want to be a veterinarian someday,” says Lilly.

“Besides care for all the animals, I enjoy meeting other people through the Animal Care Crew program and making new friends,” says Alaina.

 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 time outside their exhibits.

 “Our animals play an integral part in helping us fulfill our mission to inspire a greater sense of environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship,” says Jennifer Farrar, Executive Director. “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 each can play in protecting natural spaces where animals and humans can both thrive.”

 Interested in becoming part of the Animal Care Crew, visit our Get Involved page for information.


Join our educators as they give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to care for all the animals in our exhibit hall in one of our virtual visits.