Appalachian Wildlife Center announces affiliation with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Appalachian Wildlife Center (AWC) announced that it is in discussions with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to have the Lab conduct an educator’s workshop in Bell County, Ky. in the spring of 2020.

In October 2017, the Appalachian Wildlife Foundation and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology entered into an affiliation. As part of the relationship, the Lab will send instructors to Bell County to conduct educator workshops in conjunction with the Appalachian Wildlife Center. Teachers from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia will be invited to attend. The Cornell Lab’s education mission is to provide innovative K-12 resources that build science skills while inspiring young people to connect to local habitats, explore biodiversity, and engage in citizen-science projects. The Lab has found citizen science to be an effective method to engage youth in the kinds of authentic experiences required by the Next Generation Science Standards. The Cornell Lab conducts teacher workshops, provides written materials and multi-media programs. Those resources, along with outdoor experiences, can help teachers develop the next generation of scientific thinkers.

AWF President David Ledford commented, “Bringing the educational resources of Cornell University to southeastern Kentucky is an exciting achievement. Creating educational opportunities like this for students is one of the reasons we are developing the Wildlife Center.”

The Appalachian Wildlife Center aligns with SOAR’s Regional Blueprint for a 21st Century Appalachia.  It particularly addresses two of the Blueprint’s seven goals – establishing Appalachia Kentucky as a tourism destination and small business.

The Appalachian Wildlife Center is located directly beneath a major North American bird migratory corridor. During the course of the year over 260 different species of birds can be observed at the Center. It is expected to rapidly become a very popular bird watching destination. The Wildlife Center will open to the public in June 2021 and attract over 850,000 visitors annually.

AWF Chairman Frank Allen commented, “The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is arguably the world’s preeminent authority on bird science, conservation, and for bird watchers. David Ledford worked long and hard on this relationship. The Lab’s cooperation will greatly enhance the visitor experience for all guests at the Wildlife Center.”

The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation is a Corbin, Ky.-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.