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The Wild Center Becomes a Smithsonian Affiliate

The Wild Center Becomes a Smithsonian Affiliate

New status provides access to special programming, new research opportunities, and increased funding

Tupper Lake, N.Y. – The Wild Center is now a Smithsonian Affiliate, becoming part of a distinguished network of over 200 cultural, educational, and research organizations across the United States, plus Puerto Rico and Panama. This new relationship marks a significant milestone in The Wild Center’s mission to connect people with the natural world through science and immersive experiences. 

Renowned for its innovative exhibits and programs, The Wild Center explores the intricate relationship between people and nature. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, it will gain access to the vast resources of the Smithsonian Institution, including educational materials, collaborative funding, and special access to programming. This affiliation will enhance The Wild Center's ability to deliver enriching and educational experiences to its visitors.

“We are delighted to start this new Affiliate relationship with The Wild Center,” said Tricia Edwards, Interim Director of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Smithsonian Affiliations. “We look forward to collaborating on dynamic programs that help advance our collective understanding of how nature and human communities interact. Together, we hope to inspire learning and discovery in our communities and share the vision of the Smithsonian’s Life on a Sustainable Planet initiative to ‘pursue nature-based solutions for a more resilient Earth for all.’”

The Wild Center's new status marks a growing relationship with the Smithsonian. Funded by an Institution of Museum and Library Services National Leadership grant, The Wild Center and Phipps Conservatory are part of the three-year 'Climate Competency and Action for Museum Professionals (Climate CAMP)' project. This initiative aims to train museum staff on climate change action, creating educational programs and exhibits for their institutions and communities. The project is advised by the Smithsonian Institution.

"We are thrilled to join the Smithsonian Affiliations program,” said Stephanie Ratcliffe, Executive Director at The Wild Center. “This continued collaboration opens up a wealth of opportunities for us to bring unparalleled educational and scientific experiences to our community and visitors from around the world.”

Joining the Smithsonian Affiliations program aligns with The Wild Center's commitment to excellence in science education and public engagement. Earlier this year, The Wild Center was named the "Best Science Museum" in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, reflecting its standing as a leader in science and nature education.

For more information about The Wild Center and its new Smithsonian affiliation, please visit