There are many reasons to give to The Wild Center. For you, maybe it’s the connection we foster between people and nature, or the impact our Adirondack Youth Climate Summit is having on youth across the region and the globe. Whatever your reason, we cannot thank you enough for your support. Here are ten ways your contributions help The Wild Center thrive; ten reasons to give to our work and mission.

We’ve brought the wonders of nature to people who never thought they could find them. You can go far into the backcountry to see the Adirondacks. Or you can come to The Wild Center, where more than 900,000 people have experienced the sights, sounds and magic of nature at their own pace.

We’ve helped bring thousands of visitors to Tupper Lake, stimulating the local economy. The Wild Center has been a major regional attraction even before we opened Wild Walk: In 2011 alone, visitors spent more than $14 million in the North Country and helped support 277 jobs.

We’re also intensely involved with our neighbors. Since we opened in 2006, more than 400 Tupper Lake classes and nearly 13,000 Tupper Lake students have visited The Wild Center, making our rich science resources their own.

students at youth climate summit

The Wild Center has sparked interest in climate change across the Adirondacks. We helped start the discussion of climate change within the Blue Line. Now that it’s going, we don’t intend to let it stop. We’ve hosted eight Adirondack Youth Climate Summits, attracting 150 students from 25 high schools ever year, sponsored several other youth-focused climate programs, and worked with stakeholders across the park to help them understand the impacts they’re likely to face.

We’re inspiring climate change discussions internationally, too. We’ve taken what we’ve learned about motivating action and creating youth leaders and shared that to power youth summits in Detroit, Finland, Seattle, the Catskills, and several other places.

The Wild Center's Wild Walk.

We match big ideas with bold steps. It takes an organization with big vision, and big ambition, to dream and build something as audacious as Wild Walk before even turning 10. And we’re not stopping; in 2014, we more than doubled the size of our campus, and we’re looking forward to more trails, more activities such as paddling the Raquette River, and more things we haven’t even thought of.

Otters at The Wild Center.

We put the “ark” in “Adirondack Park.” Our animal collection includes nearly 500 animals from over 40 different native New York species. More importantly, our animal-care techniques are widely respected. This year, we will offer falconry programs to the public, and begin a program to give baby turtles a better chance at survival in the wild.

The Wild Center exterior.

Our green building efforts are winning notice – and better yet, winning converts. The first LEED building in the Adirondacks? That’s us. The first LEED museum in the state? Us, too. We’re just as proud to have sparked a conversation with contractors about how they can incorporate these advances in their own work.

Volunteers at The Wild Center.

100,000 hours. That’s how much time our volunteers have given us since Betsy Lowe had the idea to do this natural history museum. Stuffing envelopes,  greeting guests, caring for animals, maintaining our grounds – our volunteers do it all.

SUP at The Wild Center.

We’re redefining what a museum can be. We’ve built The Wild Center’s experience around living exhibits and activities designed to connect people with nature. Touch a cloud. Squish a bog. See what living green looks like in action. That makes the natural world seem a little closer. It also means that when we convene discussions on how crucial it is to act on climate change, or to protect wild places, our guests enter the conversation as participants rather than spectators. And are likelier to act, rather than simply observe.