ALUM CREEK, W.VA. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the Forks of Coal State Natural Area Foundation will host a grand opening for the Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center on Saturday, June 4.
During the event, which is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests will be able to explore the 9,500-square-foot facility and 102-acre property. Guided hikes, exhibits, interactive programming and shows provided by West Virginia Raptor Rehab Center also will be available.
“This event is an excellent opportunity for families with kids and will be a great way to kick off the summer,” said Ashley Anderson, park activities coordinator for WVDNR. “We’re looking forward to having everyone come out and experience all that we have to offer, including ‘Touch a Snake’ and ‘Bird ID’ activities.” The Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center, located at 301 Forks of Coal Way in Alum Creek, will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting on June 7.
The center will have five main areas:
- An entrance area will introduce visitors to the WVDNR and Forks of Coal State Natural Area.
- A 1,500-gallon aquarium and reptile and amphibian tanks will let visitors see native warm water fish, reptiles and amphibians.
- A wildlife management area featuring mounted animals will highlight extirpated wildlife that have been successfully restored in West Virginia.
- A habitat management area will show visitors how the WVDNR manages various habitats for wildlife.
- A wildlife observation area will feature a honeybee hive and birdwatching stations.
The opening of the Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center fulfills the vision of the center’s namesake, the late Claudia Workman, whose husband Jack donated the 105-acre tract of land to the WVDNR in 2015 so a nature-based education center could be built. In addition to wildlife exhibits, the center features educational space, an amphitheater and hiking trails.
To learn more about the Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center, Forks of Coal State Natural Area and other natural and scenic areas in West Virginia, visit WVdnr.gov/natural-and-scenic-areas.