LEWISBURG — Wild Hearts African Farm recently announced it has received a $2,000 Greenlight Grant from The Dayton Foundation.
These capital funds will support the addition of a new barn and pasture which will also be home to the STEAM “Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math” Learning Site for Youth on the farm’s 30-acre property. This grant was made possible thanks to the Kenneth O. Huntingdon Charitable Trust Fund of The Dayton Foundation.
“We care deeply about fostering the next generation and preparing them for careers in agriculture, zoology and biology, said President Amanda Badger. “Our new STEAM Learning Site set within a working African-themed farm, will allow youth from Preble County and around the Miami Valley to participate in innovative learning programs. By opening children’s hearts and minds to cultures seemingly different than their own we inspire a world of more belonging and will develop their confidence, skills and passion to become agents of change to teach and influence others” Badger added.
“This program will provide students and families a resource where they will learn about conservation science and in-situ field simulations, animal management software training, biology, enclosure engineering, agriculture diversity, and professional and personal development skills in an environment that embraces holistic wildlife conservation.”
“We welcome Wild Hearts African Farm to our community and are excited by this news,” said Jeff Sewert, Lewisburg Village Manager. “This is an excellent educational opportunity for our children, and will be sure to draw families from throughout the region for a unique day-trip visit to Preble County.”
Wild Hearts African Farm was recently recommended for project funding by the Dayton Development Coalition Priority Development & Advocacy Committee. The STEAM Learning Site is expected to be completed by summer of 2019. The organization is currently raising funds to complete the remaining portion of the African Farm project. The farm is currently home to over 25 species including African goats, sheep, tortoises, owls and a variety of smaller reptiles, in addition to friendly domestic farm animals and protected wildlife such as a bald eagle and box turtles.
Wild Hearts African Farm is a USDA-licensed, non-profit educational farm with a mission to make a positive impact on wildlife conservation both locally and globally through engaging experiences while providing a fun and recreational resource for the community. Since 2014, Wild Hearts has presented educational programs to over 20,000 local people and employed over 70 college interns who have earned more than 11,000 service learning hours at the facility, according to Badger. Wild Hearts’ mobile teaching zoo can be booked for educational programs, birthday parties and public events year-round. Seasonal fields trips and family excursions to the Farm & Petting Zoo can be booked by guided tours spring through fall on the website at WildHeartsAfricanFarm.org.