WNC Nature Center
For those of us lucky enough to call Asheville home, we can say that we have some very special furry, scaly and feathery neighbors living right here in East Asheville just waiting for you to visit. The WNC Nature Center is home to over sixty species of animals: river otters, black bear, red wolves, cougars, bobcats, owls, hawks, copperheads and more. It’s a really special place. Not only are all the plants and animals native to the Southern Appalachian region but it’s accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; an uncommon achievement which basically says that the Nature Center takes exceptionally great care of its inhabitants!
The nature center is a wonderful place for children of all ages – even my fourteen month old baby was enthralled by the sights and got to employ her newest word frequently: “Wow!” The Nature Center indeed is “Wow!” inspiring.Exhibits both indoor and outdoor feature animals sleeping, snacking, playing and exploring.An elevated wooden walkway allows visitors to look down upon the animals on Black Bear Ridge and Otter Falls features slippery little otters sliding down the river rocks and zooming through the water. After visiting the Appalachian Predators area where coyotes, red wolves and bobcats lounge you can visit the gentle animals at the WNC Farm which features a petting zoo with sheep, goats and donkeys. The knowledgeable folks at the Nature Center offer special shows daily so visitors can get up close and personal and learn more about owls, snakes, turtles and other animals.
The WNC Nature Center is open daily from 10 am to 5. Discounted prices are offered for Asheville residents and, even better than that, children two years of age and younger get in free! More information can be found at www.wncnaturecenter.com.
Check out this Book Review: Smoky Mountain Wee Ones by Lisa Horstman on The Ashevillager: http://theashevillager.com/?p=217
By Amy Brown