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Friday, November 28, 2014

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Animal News Desk / Cathy Kangas

Published 2:40 pm, Friday, August 1, 2014
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The Wolf Conservation Center in nearby South Salem, N.Y., has a great event planned for children. The Wolf Conservation Center's second annual Family Walk to Protect America's Wild Heritage will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 13, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Ward Pound Ridge, 4 Reservation Road, Cross River, N.Y. (Shelter 5). Reservations are not required for the free event, but please let the Wolf Conservation Center know if you plan to attend by emailing maggie@nywolf.org.

This year, the center celebrates the wildlife and wild lands of the largest park in the contiguous United States: New York State's Adirondack State Park. Stationed throughout the beautiful hike, workshops will teach families about the array of native wildlife that flourishes within the state and species in need of recovery. Learning as they walk, children will update their Adirondack Council "wild passports" with stickers and creative solutions to help New York's natural treasures stay healthy and thrive.

Once the circuit is completed, the children will receive certificates acknowledging their participation and raffle tickets for exciting prizes.

One of the best parts of this day in my estimation is a cameo appearance by Atka, one of the WCC Ambassador Wolves. Atka and his friends visit schools and attend community events so people can experience firsthand these magnificent creatures. Although Atka is not a wild wolf, his howl will undoubtedly inspire the families to think about the wolves that once roamed the Northeast and be assured that this iconic symbol of the American wild can be granted opportunities to recolonize in their lifetime or for future generations.

We need to fight to protect the wolves in the wild and the best way to do this is to teach people about how important wolves are to the ecosystem. It is never too early for children to learn that the wolves' future is in their hands. So plan to be at Ward Pound Ridge on Aug. 13 for a day of learning and fun as well as an opportunity to see a wolf up close.

New Canaan resident Cathy Kangas is a member of the board of directors of the Humane Society of the United States. She can be reached at cathy@praibeauty.com.