FREMONT COUNTY — Fremont County will soon be able to get a different look at wildlife conservation.
“Our whole goal is to be able to build a nature classroom. So, something where people can come in, attend a class, book programs, things like that,” Jaffe said.
It’s been a long time coming for Nature’s Educators, who typically travel to schools and organizations for wildlife education programs.
After a decade-long search, the city of Florence just approved a space for the nonprofit’s nature center, which will be the first of its kind in Fremont County.
“We will be able to use a quarter of the inside of this building, which you can see is pretty large. So, then we will be fundraising to be able to build out this classroom, our displays, purchase tables, projector, all of that kind of stuff,” Jaffe said.
Their goal is to raise $5,000.
The coronavirus pandemic hit their program revenue hard, cutting their educational presentations by more than half.
“We have lost $32,000 as of today in program revenue because all of our schools and libraries are closed. And so, that $30,000 plus is money that we were using to feed all our educational ambassadors. And so, we have been struggling to be able to find virtual programs or anything that we could use sponsors to help us pay to at least keep our doors open and continue,” Jaffe said,
The nonprofit showcases certain species of captive-bred and non-releasable wildlife.
“Whenever we do our programs, we like to make sure that people understand that there are easy things that we can do to help our wildlife. And when we are offering our programs here, we hope to be able to do that,” Jaffe said.
Nature’s Educators plan to have their building complete by the end of 2020 and hope it will make people excited about wildlife conservation.
“I feel that by having people come in and see the animals up close in person, it makes a more lasting connection than just seeing a picture, or a poster, or something like that,” Jaffe said.