Troubadourable folk buddies Simon and Garfunkel once sang that “it’s all happening at the zoo” before retiring from music to live out their days serenely basking in the reptile habitat. Get happening with today’s Groupon at Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood. Choose between the following options:
- For $7, you get two admissions (up to a $14 value).
- For $14, you get four admissions (up to a $28 value).<p>
Permanently sheltering nearly 40 nonreleasable critters, Wildlife West Nature Park informs and enthralls its public with abundant animals cohabitating on 122 acres of predominantly undisturbed locale. Black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, pronghorn antelopes, and additional creatures prosper among habitats that recreate their former natural living conditions by including native vegetation and satellite TV. Two miles of trails link approximately 30 exhibitions, and a 1/3-acre pond––replete with bird hides––permits patrons an opportunity to observe numerous native species and migratory birds that annually visit the site. In keeping with its eco-conscious mission, the park fashions a plethora of structures with previously used materials, such as its bean barn and bird habitats compiled from almost 90% recycled resources. Though not included with this Groupon, Wildlife West Nature Park hosts myriad events and concerts in its covered amphitheater that boasts concert seating for 1,000 humans or 740 music-loving bobcats.
Wildlife West Nature Park
Roger Alink has never owned a television. As a kid, he was too busy with the pigs and cattle that roamed his 160-acre home, and this love of animals and the outdoors only grew over time. In the early '90s, Alink decided to share this love with others, so he and a team of volunteers spent 30,000 hours establishing Wildlife West Nature Park.
In addition to the wild creatures, migratory birds, and GPS-lacking manatees who settle at the park, representatives of the region's indigenous animals and plants live and grow on its 122 scenic acres, much of which hasn’t been altered since the park's inception. Elsewhere, 30 wildlife exhibits mimic the natural habitats of the black bears, deer, pronghorn antelopes, and birds of prey that inhabit them. Two miles of trail connect each habitat, and each enclosure is specially designed for the particular needs of its residents. The same custom care goes into feeding the animals: to keep the beasts psychologically spry, staff members provide challenges that echo the animals' instinctual eating habits, placing meals up in treetops, burying snacks that need to be sniffed out, and arranging candlelit dinners for mountain lions who forgot their wives’ birthdays.
Sustainable practices such as recycling, organic farming, and water harvesting turn the park into an educational example of eco-friendliness. Facilities such as the amphitheater and the heated, enclosed Bean Barn also welcome special events ranging from music festivals and bird-handling workshops to the kite-spangled Wind Festival and the ursine Bear Fair.