Friday, October 24, 2014

Nature Preserves: Perfect Spots for Amazing Adventures!

This past week, my family and I had the good fortune to visit the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, NJ.  It is a beautiful wildlife preserve located on a dedicated parcel of land owned by the Camp Taylor Campground.  At present, 17 wolves of varying species, several foxes, and a few bobcats reside in vast, separated, fenced enclosures where they have plenty of room to roam and socialize.  

I just couldn't wait to share this gem; not only because it is such an outstanding preserve, but also to draw attention to the many charitable organizations dedicated to truly helping to endangered species and abandoned domesticated wild creatures. Locations like these are perfect spots for families to see endangered species and talk about preserving habitat and wildlife; and they are often self-supporting, relying on visitors and benefactors for income enough to ensure they can continue to provide for these beautiful animals.

The facility is owned and operated by Jim Stein and Becky Mace, who raise and care for all the animals at the preserve. Each day (except Mondays!), they lead two Wolf Tours (for details on booking, check their website!). During their presentations, you learn about the social structure of wolf packs, their eating habits, their interaction with man, and many other interesting facts. They make every effort to educate visitors about the true behavior of wolves and field any and all questions with infinite patience and good-humor! 

While in the observation area you can watch the wolves play, interact with each other, and (if you're lucky!) maybe even hear them howl! A visit is truly an experience of a lifetime. Just down a ways from the wolves' areas you will be treated to an informative presentation as well as views, and adorable antics of the preserve's other residents; foxes and bobcats. Visitors are permitted to take photos on the wolf watch tour and they have some fantastic fund-raising items (zip-up hoodies), and opportunities (donations and the Lakota Wolf Dinner and Night Howl event), and well as sponsorship programs for patrons wishing to become more involved.

So if you live in the area, do yourself a favor and visit the Lakota Wolf Preserve; and if you don't live nearby, do a little research and look for preserves in your area!  Safe and happy travels!
-Destination Mom

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