WoW! Wildlife on Wheels Takes Education Far Out
Thanks to generous grants and other donations, the Refuge debuted its WoW (Wildlife on Wheels) mobile classroom on December 12, 2020. WoW will be scheduled to visit schools, libraries, conservation-minded events, and economically challenged and minority communities to teach about water quality, the ecosystem, wildlife, and other topics that meet the Refuge’s mission.
DDWS has hired bilingual educators, who, along with volunteers and interns, staff the museum-quality, hands-on exhibits inside and outside WoW to maximize their inspirational learning potential. Learning stations interpret mangrove ecosystems, water quality, water conservation, pollution and plastic, animal scats and tracks, Florida’s native animals, and wildlife sounds. Staff will draw on knowledge gained in the classroom and design programs to complement Florida educational STEM requirements.
During the six months of recovery from Hurricane Ian in September 2022, the Refuge closed. WoW became our only tool for furthering the Refuge conservation education mission while the Visitor & Education Center was shuttered. Kept safe during the hurricane, WoW was on the road shortly after and experienced its most successful year yet in terms of community outreach.
2022-2023 WoW STATS
- During the 2022-2023 school year, 7,6,25 Title 1 school students at 11 different schools visited WoW.
- 1,025 people visited during community outreach events including "Ding" Darling Day Conservation Carnival at Lakes Park.
- This summer, the team has already signed on for five summer camps.
Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the WoW project can click HERE or contact Birgie at 239-292-0566.
To schedule Wow to appear at your school, venue, or event, click HERE.
To donate in support of the WoW outreach mission, click HERE.
Click HERE to read a letter from Sunshine Elementary.
Click HERE to read a letter from G. Weaver Hipps Elementary.
Click HERE to read a letter from Lehigh Elementary.
Read an article about WoW by visiting Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism student Sarah Anderson.
Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Tortuga Preserve Elementary.
Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Harns Marsh Elementary.
Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Villas Elementary.
Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Hancock Creek Elementary.
Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Tice Elementary from the assistant principal.
Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Lehigh Senior High.
Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Lehigh Elementary.