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Friends of the WNC Nature Center receives $25,000 grant award for Outreach Education

from GlaxoSmithKline Ribbon of Hope Program

This October, the Friends of the WNC Nature Center was a recipient of a $25,000 Ribbon of Hope grant from the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to support the Center’s Outreach Education Program.

The grant award will allow the Friends of the WNC Nature Center, the Center’s non-profit support organization, to expand their education outreach program throughout the region. The Nature Center attracts over 144,000 visitors annually, and this number has been steadily increasing for the past six years. The Education Department directly impacts over 14,000 of those visitors through guided school field trips, summer camps, teen volunteer programs, and other offerings.

The Outreach Education Program celebrated its inaugural year in 2017, serving over 7,000 people who could not otherwise have afforded these educational programs.

Education Specialist Lauren Pyle explains, “The Center receives many more requests for education and classes than we can possibly provide, so we often have to turn down requests – especially for traveling programs to schools who can’t afford a field trip to us. This includes libraries with summer programs, daycares who want to enrich early learning, and retirement centers with limited transportation abilities. But thanks to this grant, we can say yes to those travel requests!”

The Friends’ Outreach Educator will visit schools, community centers, and other locations throughout western North Carolina, bringing hands-on programs with living animal ambassadors to those groups who can’t experience the Nature Center for themselves.

The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation is an independent self-funding 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supporting activities that help meet the educational and health needs of today’s society and future generations. For decades, the Foundation has been a proud supporter of programs in our state that help advance science, health and education. For more information about the work of the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation visit www.ncgskfoundation.org.

About WNC Nature Center

The Friends of the WNC Nature Center creates awareness and provide financial resources in support of the Nature Center- Asheville’s Wildlife Park. The WNC Nature Center connects people with animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountains by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the

region’s rich biodiversity.