The Liberty Nature Center is proud to be a leading wildlife rehabilitation and education center in Kentucky. Located in the heart of the Lake Cumberland Region, this 27-Acre facility offers sick and injured wildlife a second chance at life, provides local students with unique hands on experience, and delivers innovative educational opportunities for our community. The Liberty Nature Center operates as a not-for-profit organization and relies on the generous support of private donors and the hard work of many dedicated volunteers.
Each year LNC's wildlife rehabilitation program sees 100+ animals that come in to the center sick, injured, or orphaned. For most of the animals, the center provides top notch medical care that leads to successful releases back into the wild. Unfortunately, some animals have permanent conditions that would prohibit their survival in the wild. For these animals, the center provides a safe haven so the animals can live a full and healthy life.
The animals that cannot be released are either transferred to other facilities for education or kept on sight and used in our education programs. We have over 20 permanent residents that serve as ambassadors to their wild counterparts. These residents, referred to as our education collection, travel the state of Kentucky and participate in entertaining programs that teach over 10,00 people a year about the importance of wildlife conservation.
In order to care for the education collection and rehabilitation animals, we rely on middle and high school student volunteers. By participating in the program, the students gain valuable hands-on experience in fields including wildlife rehabilitation, animal care, non-profit administration, marketing, biology, and more! promoting wildlife conservation through environmental education.
The Liberty Nature Center strives to:
What began with one Great Horned Owl, a high-school biology classroom, a dog kennel, and a (brave) biology teacher, has now become the Liberty Nature Center. For 28 years, Mrs. Frances Carter and the students in her classes have cared for injured wildlife which included some mammals but focused mostly on Birds of Prey. The facility, which was originally located on campus at Casey County High School (Casey County, KY) and was later moved to Southwestern High School (SWHS) (Pulaski County, KY), has grown each year to encompass more animals, more educational programs, and in 2013 more space. While on campus at SWHS, the raptor center was known as the only wildlife rehabilitation center in the nation located on a high school campus. The program was limited to a 1/4 mile nature trail, 23 mews, storage buildings, and a small weathering yard. The program was also limited to students who attended SWHS.
Despite its limitations, the SWHS Raptor Program had big dreams of building a nature & education center on the schools campus. This led to a 10 year fundraising campaign that raised over $300,000 dollars... a figure just shy of the cost needed to bring the nature center to life.
In 2013, due to a change in state laws, the organization decided it would be best to continue the operation separate from the school and thus the Liberty Nature Center was born. After the organization officially changed their name to the Liberty Nature & Raptor Center, the funds originally raised to build a nature center were used to purchase 27.5 acres that would become the new home for the program. With the left over funds, a wildlife unit and offices were built and construction began on developing a wildlife education center that we hope will be an asset to the Lake Cumberland Region and the citizens, students, and wildlife it serves.
The program still focuses on wildlife rehabilitation and education and has placed an even larger emphasis on involving high school students. Since moving to the new location, the program has opened up to include all students, grades 7-12, in the area as well as adult mentors from a diverse background.
For more information on our history, please contact us! We would be happy to share.
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Since LNC is mostly volunteer based, calling ahead to schedule a tour will help guarantee that someone will be available to take you around our campus.
Call 606-679-9453 to set up your tour!