Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Breaking Ground on Getting Back to Nature
Midwest Region, May 10, 2011
Print Friendly Version

Getting kids back to the outdoors has become more than an idea for Bass Pro Shop’s founder Jonny Morris. Mr. Morris created a pilot program using Wonders of Wildlife classroom some 15 years ago.

Wonders of Wildlife has become a staple outdoor outreach event throughout the state of Missouri bringing their Conservation and Outdoor Recreation School to five different cities. Columbia’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office initiated and has cooperatively led the program’s school in Columbia for the last 4 years.

This effort has been in concert with the Columbia Ecological Services Field Office, Big Muddy NFWR, State natural resource agencies such as Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri State Parks, Columbia Parks and Recreation, Missouri State University, University of Missouri, Bass Pro Shops and other local business. Given the success of these programs along with a full-time conservation charter school in Springfield, MO, Mr. Morris has begun building an entire complex in Springfield, MO incorporating his original retail store and National Museum with the sole purpose to introduce kids to conservation and the outdoors.

Jeff Finley and Wyatt Doyle attended an invitation dinner along with other agency and key partners of Bass Pro to brainstorm on new ideas for the WOW Educational Center. Subject matter experts were surrounded by 30 bright students representing one of WOW’s charter classes (Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility W.O.L.F) who eagerly grasped the opportunity to share in how they would design their future classroom. The new WOW classroom will allow selected students to attend the class full-time while being surrounded by a natural setting created specifically to prepare children to enjoy the outdoors.

The students would continue basic curriculum while having an enhanced opportunity to learn about hunting, fishing and conservation. The facility will attract other Missouri Schools to bring their students for day long courses on the outdoors throughout the year. Although conceptually, much of what will be done is still being developed, it was obvious that the finished project will be “BIG” and supplement what our state and federal agencies are already doing to educate the next generation on the wonders of nature.

Contact Info: Wyatt Doyle, (573)876-1911 ex 111, wyatt_doyle@fws.gov
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State

Search by Region

US Fish and Wildlife Service footer