THE OGDEN VALLEY NEWS Page 16 Volume II, Issue XI 1 June 2000 The Ogden Nature Center—a Wildlife Sanctuary and More By Shanna Francis Ogden Valley News Staff Where in the middle of an urban center can you find a wildlife oasis where Canadian Geese nest at ponds, Western Painted Turtles bask on sunny banks, and Red-winged Blackbirds practice their trilling mating songs? At the Ogden Nature Center, Utah’s premiere nature center, you can find all of this and much more. Children learn about native culture. The Ogden Nature Center, located at 966 West 12th Street, came into existence 25 years ago in 1975, opening to the public in 1980. The National Park Service conveyed the 127 acres that comprise the center to Ogden City, specifically for a nature center. The city holds a permanent lease on the property, as long it remains a nature park. The Nature Center is a non-profit nature education center and wildlife sanctuary. The official mission of the Center is to, “Unite people with nature and to nurture appreciation and stewardship of the environment.” The Center partners with such other nonprofits and local, state and federal agencies as Ogden City, the Division of Wildlife Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Audubon Society. The Ogden Nature Center, which began as a “sad tangle of weeds with few trees and little cover for wildlife” has evolved into, according to the facilities Executive Director Carl Palmer, a “beautiful refuge that both people and animals can enjoy. This place provides unending opportunities to stand in awe of both nature’s beauty and the product of years of hard work and dedication on the part of the people who have made the Nature Center what it is.” Naturalist Karen Bush describes the cacophony of sounds found at the center; “The Nature Center is vibrant in birdsong, goose honks, frog croaks, and children’s laughter. Even the sparrows’ song has surprised me. Living in the suburbs, I have been accustomed only to the scolding and chatter of these birds, but spring has introduced me to their beautifully complicated rolling song of whistles and trills, drawn to a close with dropping notes.” The Nature Center currently boasts of 1½ miles of trail ways through the park area. Depending on how quiet and observant you are, a stroll through the grounds may reward you with a peek at George the Great Basin Gopher Snake, Rex the Desert Tortoise, and/or Samson the Red-tailed Hawk. You may see other guests at the Center— deer, muskrat, beaver, rabbit, fox and small goslings. Each year hundreds of injured or orphaned wild animals come to the Nature Center for rehabilitation and then, hopefully, release back into the wilds. But some animals and birds cannot be released due to injury, disease, or lack of survival skills. Permanent residents become part of the Tarantulas, Uno the Tiger Salamander, fun. Abby the House Finch, Hillary the Over 100 community volunteers Northern Goshawk, Chitters and help stage the event each year. The Odette the Great Horned Owls, and goal of the Solstice Celebration is to Hurricane the Prairie Falcon. create an evening of family fun in an Every year approximately 13,000 informal outdoor setting, and to gain school children and their teachers and new nature friends. Guests are able to chaperones visit the Ogden Nature participate in a wide variety of nature Center. The Center recently received activities. Music this year will be prothe Spirit of the Land Award from the vided by the Celtic folk group Salt Lake Olympic O r g a n i z i n g Committee. The Center, in addition to its program that hosts school age children from throughout the area, provides a program for preschoolers and ongoing community events for the whole family. Preschoolers have the opportunity of visiting forests and ponds, meeting live animals, Children gather in a teepee to learn about artwork. hearing stories, playing games, making crafts, and singing Fiddlesticks and the bluegrass group songs. Family members can attend a Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band. The myriad of exhibits, presentations and evening culminates in a traditional classes from learning about not-so- Solstice bonfire and drumming. scary bats to creating hand-built cups, Summer hours, June 1 through bowls or wall hangings from clay and August 31, for the Center are 10:00 other natural materials. Administrative a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through offices, a learning center and small gift Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on shop share the grounds with the Saturday. The Center is closed on wildlife. Sundays. Admission to the park area is An annual high- $2.50 for adults ages 13 and up, and light of the Ogden $1.00 for kids from 4 – 12. Children Nature Center is the under 4 years of age are admitted free Solstice Celebration, of charge. Youth 62 years of age and an outdoor festival of older are also admitted free of charge! nature activities con- A $25 yearly family pass is also availcluding with a summer able which allows free entry into the picnic dinner that is park and discounts on purchases and held at the Center. offered programs. This year’s event will The Ogden Nature Center also be held June 24 from offers camping accommodations for 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. groups of all sizes, and reservations for Reservations are picnic area facilities. In the winter, required. Imagine trails carry snowshoers and cross-counStudents set off on a nature walk at the Nature Center. over 1,200 men, try skiers alike. women and children of Center’s education programs, and some all ages wearing wildflower head For more information about the of the best teachers. The injured wreaths, winding through nature trails Ogden Nature Center, or for reservawildlife are doctored and supported filled with budding sun artists, painted tions, call the Center at 621-7595, or through donations to the center. faces, live folk music, minstrels, wild visit their web site, www.ogdennatureResident birds, animals, reptiles, and animals, storytellers, and an unbeatable center.org. insects include Rosie and Charlotte the picnic dinner—all to kick off summer MASTER MUFFLER & BRAKE 2017 Washington Blvd. Ogden, UT 84401 Your Fast & Friendly Service Center for: Emissions Testing Oil Changes Brake Repair Suspension & Steering Custom Performance Exhaust Emissions Failure Repair Foreign or Domestic NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY 399-3788 Weekdays 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturdays 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Bring This Ad and Receive an additonal 5% off of our already low prices - on any purchase!