LEWISBURG — Wild Hearts African Farm officially broke ground on a new Education Center on Tuesday, May 4, to enhance the organization’s emphasis on wildlife conservation and animal husbandry sciences, bringing these issues to area students and families in an engaging, hands-on way.
“Wild Hearts African Farm is excited to bring our community a new Education Center where families, students, and travelers can experience holistic community-based conservation methods, participate in hands-on learning, and create fun-filled memories,” said Amanda Badger, Founder & Director, Wild Hearts African Farm.
Wild Hearts’ new addition is made possible through a $400,000 State Capital Budget grant. The organization will use the funding to build an approximately 12,000-foot Education Center facility on donated property located adjacent to its current location at 8079 Salem Road, Lewisburg.
The expansion could mean up to 10 new hires for the non-profit that, until now, has operated solely with the help of volunteers.
Wild Hearts African Farm was founded in 2014 by Badger, a Trotwood-Madison graduate who was inspired as a child to get involved in wildlife conservation.
“As Ohio’s first Humane Certified zoo, visitors can be assured that their support is helping us to continue to provide excellent care for our animals, and a clean, safe, fun and educational resource for our guests,” Badger said.
Wild Hearts African Farm’s Petting Zoo is home to African animals, as well as domesticated livestock, rescued native wildlife and small exotics, and focuses on conservation and animal adaptations. The Petting Zoo is now open by reservation, which can be booked on their website. Its Mobile Teaching Zoo has touched more than 45,000 people across the region, teaching at libraries, community events, senior homes, schools, daycare centers, and private residences.
The new Education Center will allow Wild Hearts African Farm to offer walk-in admission nearly year-round. Visitors will be able to learn about conservation programs in Africa through guided interactive tours. The farm will expand from four acres to more than 30 acres.
For more information about Wild Hearts African Farm, visit WildHeartsAfricanFarm.org.