Community updated on Appalachian Wildlife Center

Published 5:09 pm Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Appalachian Wildlife Center is coming along as construction continues. On Wednesday, Judge-Executive Albey Brock organized an education session at Pine Mountain State Park to give an update on where the project is at and what can be expected as they continue moving forward.

“I organized today’s session in order to update the public,” Brock said. “(This session was held) not only give an update of the progress of the project to date, but also call attention to the community impact that’s coming and that we need to be preparing for it.”

“It’s time to start getting ready for all of this,” David Ledford, Appalachian Wildlife Foundation president said. “That’s the message I’m here to pass on.”

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The center is expected to open on June 4, 2021 and the hiring process will begin in the fall of 2020.

“There has been a lot of doubt, and I understand that, but now is the time for that doubt to be gone,” Brock said. “We as a community need to get together and get ready for this. I don’t know that we’re fully ready to handle it.

The 12,000 acre Wildlife Center is home to an abundance of free roaming wildlife including elk, deer, black bear, bobcat, coyote, wild turkey, hundreds of species of birds and numerous small mammals.

“People don’t realize what an enormous impact this is going to have on our community. I want more folks to get involved and realize what it taking place here,” Brock explained.

The AWS recently announced plans to have an open air zoo as well as a petting zoo at the facility. The center will also include two museums, a theater, birders hall, classrooms, restaurant, gift shop, artisans hall, the Trailblazers monuments park, an improved nature trail, foot trails and numerous other features.

The Appalachian Wildlife Center is being built and operated by the Appalachian Wildlife Foundation, a Corbin, Kentucky based nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization.