As a board member and supporter of the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, N.Y., I was thrilled to learn that on May 6 two red wolf pups were born at the center. Today, the total red wolf population is close to 300 and these beautiful animals remain on the endangered species list. Our pups will stay at the center, but hopefully pups from future litters will be released into the wild to join the other red wolves at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.

There's more good news! The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has awarded the Wolf Conservation Center a $300,000 grant for a new education center adjacent to the 383-acre Leon Levy Preserve (also in South Salem). WCC Executive Director Deborah Heineman envisions a place where families and schoolchildren can learn about the importance of the wolf to the ecosystem, hike in the preserve and attend special events.

The competition for this grant money is extremely keen. The WCC was one of only three non-profits in the Taconic Region to receive the grant from the State agency, along with Teatown in Ossining, and the Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz with its 2,200 acres of scenic wilderness.

I encourage you to support the WCC by signing up for "Green Homes and Great Estates" an upcoming tour of Connecticut and New York homes to benefit the center. The tour date is Thursday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $75 and participants can also order a box lunch from The Bedford Post, the wonderful restaurant and yoga center co-owned by actor Richard Gere and his wife, Carey Lowell.

The tour will highlight Birdstone Farm, an actual working farm with charming hill-top home, and Camp Run-A-Muk, a 68-acre family estate criss-crossed by a network of ponds and lakes and an Adirondack-style custom-crafted home. Also on the route, Patriot's Way, a classic Georgian brick mansion in the heart of historic Ridgefield, and Stonecrest, a lovingly restored Queen Anne style home that is part of the 19th century family complex, The Woodpile. For more information or to register, go online at www.nywolf.org or call the WCC at 914-763-2373, ext. 1.

If you can't make the tour, but you and your family still wants to be part of the excitement at the WCC, log on to www.nywolf.org website for a video of the red wolf pups along with opportunities to adopt your very own wolf. Adoption levels run from $25 to $500 and include certificate of adoption, 8-by-10 photo, wolf bio, WCC newsletter, calendar, T-shirts and more.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work of Deborah Heineman and her dedicated staff. Deb left the world of corporate marketing to accept the job at the WCC and we are extremely fortunate to have someone with her expertise on board.

I leave you with this quote by L. David Mech, a senior research scientist for the U.S. Department of Interior's U.S. Geological Survey: "The wolf is neither man's competitor nor his enemy. He is a fellow creature with whom the earth must be shared."