On Thursday, July 9th, three organizations gathered at the Water for Wildlife (WFW) Center in Lander to support the “Our Friends are Wild Exhibit” in the Water for Wildlife Conservation Museum.
This new interactive exhibit is designed for folks to learn about Wyoming wildlife, explained WFW Foundation Executive Director Vickie Hutchinson. It “cleverly depicts three-dimensional paintings of wildlife ‘bursting’ through the wall. It is designed to teach young and old alike about the importance of keeping safe distances from wildlife. Each year many people are harmed by approaching wildlife too close and taking pictures, etc., Wildlife is also disturbed with human encroachment, especially when they are caring for their young. This exhibit is a place for all to take a fun picture with wildlife but in a safe way.”
Wind River Outdoor Company Owner Ron Hansen donated $2,500 in support of the exhibit, Vickie shared. “Mr. Hansen was happy to support an opportunity for area youth to learn about wildlife conservation in a fun way.”
The Lander Chamber of Commerce also provided funds through a Tourism Asset Development (TAD) Grant. “Owen Sweeney, Executive Director of the Lander Chamber of Commerce sees the museum and exhibits as a great destination place for visitors and tourists to the Lander area,” she continued. “Local Wyoming Game and Fish agents assisted with the beautiful taxidermy work and offered expert guidance on the technical aspects supporting safe wildlife distancing.”
Several exhibits pertaining to wildlife conservation education will be housed at the front of the museum. Among those planned exhibits includes a working guzzler depicting how some water projects function in remote arid areas, a timeline of Pioneers in Conservation, and a map of water project locations. A Woodlands Exhibit is currently under construction. It will teach about ecosystems and no-trace camping.
The museum is open to the public and admission is free.
Featured image: (L-R) Water for Wildlife/Wyoming Game and Fish summer interns Cassidy Downing and Brandon Sagraves; Wyoming Game and Fish Regional Wildlife Supervisors Griffin Hunter and Jason Hunter; WFW Executive Director Vickie Hutchinson; Wind River Outdoor Company Owner Ron Hansen; Lander Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Owen Sweeney; Ava Hunter (Jason’s daughter); WFW Office Manager Gina Colovich; WFW President Carl Asbell; WFW Vice President Tim Gist; WFW Executive Vice President Scott Harnsberger