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New Management for Wild Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon - KOAM TV 7

New Management for Wild Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center

Updated:
JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

(11/17/17)

Community members show support for the Wildcat Glades Nature Center. A petition has been created called "Rescue Wildcat Glades." A Community Forum has also been organized for Tuesday, November 28th from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Joplin Public Library. Organizers say everyone is invited to join in and brainstorm ideas to help the Nature Center continue its services and education programs. Those ideas will be used to create a proposal to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

To sign the petition and for more information on the forum:

https://ipetitions.com/petition/rescuewildcat

https://www.facebook.com/events/542801096064619/

(11/3/17)

There are more questions than answers surrounding the Missouri Department of Conservation's takeover of Joplin's Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center.

The biggest one would be: why's it happening? But officials with Wildcat Glades wouldn't comment, and the Missouri Department of Conservation didn't have an answer.

"As far as that question, I would encourage you to reach out to Audubon for that," said Aaron Jeffries, deputy director of the Department of Conservation.

As for the future of Wildcat Glades and its countless educational programs, Missouri's Department of Conservation is in the process of analyzing resources, and how they'll be utilized at the Audubon Center.

"We'll be working with our staff, as well as with Audubon and the city of Joplin to figure out a future for the center. We also need to work closely with out conservation commission in order to figure out what we'll be able to do with the facility in the future. There's no doubt in my mind, we're still gonna have a strong conservation presence regardless of what we do," said Jeffries.

The National Audubon Society was willing to talk about the change in management, but they didn't shed much light on the situation. They released a statement saying: The Missouri Department of Conservation has been a wonderful partner in our work together over the years. Wildcat Glades is a tremendous asset for the Joplin community and our goal is to ensure it remains a thriving nature center. We deeply appreciate all the hard work from staff, volunteers and supporters of Wildcat Glades and we're working hard on a positive result for everyone involved.

The educational programs hosted at Wildcat Glades fall in line with the Department of Conservation's mission, but until the deal is finalized, fans of the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center will have to wait for answers. The change in management is expected to happen some time in the next fiscal year.

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