Free program aims to bring wild world to low-income kids

Molly Daly
April 26, 2019 - 4:00 am
A Great horned owl.

Courtesy of Jackie Kent

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — An important part of a local wildlife rehabilitation center's mission is to encourage people to care about and coexist with wildlife, and a grant from the Pennsylvania Sierra Club is helping them provide free programs low-income areas.

Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center education director Jackie Kent says the $10,000 grant allows them to take the Wild Neighbors program and its wild ambassadors to a wider audience.

"It's usually about $250 per program, but not everyone can afford that. So this helps us get paid, helps the animals get taken care of, and then we can go into these low-income areas, and provide them the same wildlife education that would be available to the people who can pay for it," Kent said. 

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The aim is simple.

"I always say you don't save what you don't love. So exposure to these things gets these kids to care about things, so that when they get older, or even just now while they're still young, that they care about the wildlife in their area. It exists near us. It's in our neighborhoods, it's in the backyard and we need to peacefully co-exist with it," Kent said. 

And, Kent adds, "Wildlife education should be for all people. And we do want people to reach out to us, even if you don't think you qualify, or if you're not exactly underserved, you can still contact us, and we'll work with you."