Wildlife Education Center Opens With Guided Hikes, Exhibits

The number of monarch butterflies migrating to California spiked this winter after years of historic lows.

Guided hikes, exhibits and interactive programming will greet guests during the grand opening of the Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center, officials said.

The event on June 4 is being hosted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the Forks of Coal State Natural Area Foundation. Those who attend the free event in Alum Creek can tour the 9,500-square-foot (883-square-meter) building, explore the 102-acre (41-hectare) property and attend shows presented by the West Virginia Raptor Rehab Center, the the Division of Natural Resources said in a statement.

“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,” said Ashley Anderson, the agency’s park activities coordinator.

The opening fulfills the vision of the center’s namesake, Claudia Workman, whose husband donated the land in 2015 so a nature-based education center could be built.

The center has five main areas that include an introduction to Forks of Coal State Natural Area, an aquarium and reptile exhibit, a wildlife manage area, a habitat management area and a wildlife observation area. It will be open Tuesday through Saturday beginning on June 7.