TOPANGA CANYON—Many animals have found new life and a safe haven in the canyons of Topanga, California. Mollie Hogan has provided that safe haven with her organization, The Nature of Wildworks.
The Nature of Wildworks is a non-profit 501(c)(3) and was founded in 1995. Hogan had a vision of ensuring lifetime quality care for non-releasable wild animals as well as providing exclusive and interactive wildlife educational programs to create a better understanding of nature and the environment for the public.
“I founded the organization to care for my animal friends at the LA Zoo, including two mountain lions named Phoenix and Sage, when they needed a new home and many others have arrived since the first group in 1993. We currently house and care for three mountain lions and have been active participants in the now popular study of wild pumas in the Santa Monica mountains. Our mission is to share our wildlife ambassadors with people to create a memorable and lasting experience through the up close viewing of our wildlife, most especially the children who are the future,” said Hogan.
The Wildlife Care and Education Center in Topanga now houses 50 wild and domestic animals, mostly species native to California, who were either displaced from zoos, confiscated illegally owned “pets,” or rescued orphaned or injured wildlife. According to Hogan, the organization prides itself on the quality of care that it provides for its selected animals and ensuring there is adequate staff to supply this care. Numerous volunteers arrive on a daily basis to help out and support the cause that Hogan cares about so deeply.
Nature of Wildworks has continued to build a public respect and concern for native wildlife and the environment by installing educational programs for students that meet the regulations for California school’s curriculum. According to the standardized Science Framework, developed by the California State Board of Education, “environmental problems which once received relatively little attention – invasive species of plants and animals, habitat fragmentation, and the loss of biodiversity – have suddenly become statewide priorities.”
This great organization provides students with a hands-on experience emphasizing the need to not disturb or harm wildlife when they are seen in their natural habitat and help to disbar the misnomer of fear of wild animals. These presentations educate about preserving habitats and how to live safely in a co-existing environment.
Emily Ooms, a fourth-grade teacher at The Willows Community School in Los Angeles, said of the student program, “In the past, we have had to rely on books, the Internet, and videos to teach the students about animals. But this year, because of Wildworks, we were able to bring actual animals into our classroom and learn about them directly from you. Your program made a profound impression on our students. They talked about the animals for weeks. The students who did reports on one of the animals you brought with you were especially moved and inspired.”
Such stories epitomize what this organization stands for and how it truly benefits the community.
Nature of Wildworks has numerous private school programs scheduled throughout the spring on weekdays. Some of the schools that participate in such programs include Topanga Elementary, Woodbury University, and Echo Horizon in Culver City to name a few.
Hogan’s organization is also offering a chance for the general public to see what they are all about by attending two events in April. Calabasas Earth Day takes place from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 and is free for the public to attend. Wild works will be there with wild and exotic critters for people to view. The event is located at Las Virgenes Creek on Agoura Road in the city of Calabasas.
Wildworks will also be in attendance at the Thousand Oaks Arbor Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 16. The event is free for the public to attend and Wildworks will be doing a live animal presentation at 2:00 p.m. The location is Thousand Oaks Community Park located next to Thousand Oaks High School.
The Nature of Wildworks is currently in search of property for relocation where they can expand and serve many more people and animals. Donations are the driving force for the organization and its operations. They appreciate any and all contributions.
For more information or to donate to a great cause visit their website at: http://www.natureofwildworks.org.