A paperwork mistake has left a wildlife nature park in Edgewood in a big bind. Now, they need your help with donations and volunteers to keep this hidden gem a float.
From the bobcats and coyotes, to the foxes and mountain lions—the Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood is home to more than 20 different species of rescue animals.
“We take in non-releasable native species. So they are injured, orphaned, maybe illegal pets,” said Roger Alink, founder and executive director.
“It’s one of the things that makes this part of New Mexico special,” said Bill Owen, Edgewood resident.
Now, this special spot needs the public’s help all because of a paperwork error.
“We kind of messed up when we did the application,” Alink said. “They changed one of the designations on how much you can ask for and we didn’t see that.”
Every year, the nonprofit typically gets $135,000 in grant money from the Youth Conservation Corps, but when they asked for that this year it was denied.
“They changed it to $100,000, but we didn’t get anything this year,” Alink said. “So, we are raising money so we can hire some youth to do the tours and do some construction.”
Not only that, but the park also needs improvements which come at a hefty cost.
“We are trying to raise about $3,500 for improving this coyote exhibit,” Alink said.
The improvements will be done by teens who have constructed every inch of the park.
“The sidewalks, the buildings, the bathrooms, the habitats,” Alink said. “Everything is done by youth.”
While Alink usually hires about 20 teen helpers for the summer, this year he’ll have to scale that back. Still, community members are hopeful the 27-year-old zoo will stay above water.
“It’s part of the community structure and it is preservation, so it would be not good for it to leave,” said Norman Scott, Tijeras resident.
The park is also raising funds by hosting events like their Kite Festival this weekend.
For ways to donate, click here. One can also donate the at the Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood.