What is the “Nature for All Initiative”?
The “Nature for All Initiative” (NFAI) is a program that will provide free-of-cost educational programs to underserved communities and school systems. This program is aimed to help eliminate the financial burden of experiencing wildlife and connecting with nature. Through NFAI, these communities and school systems can experience and take part in:
Additionally, NFAI will assist Alabama Wildlife Center in expanding our Education Programs and upgrading our public offerings to help promote wildlife conservation.
Why is it important?
The Nature for All Initiative is an innovative program that focuses on fostering future generations’ love of the outdoors while promoting equity and inclusion through onsite and offsite programs. NFAI will provide accessible and inclusive nature experiences to all members of our community. By empowering all communities and schools in Alabama to learn and experience nature, together, we can create a more compassionate and environmentally conscious world.
AWC remains on the front lines in the fight to preserve wildlife and the environment. As cities expand, thousands of native wild animals are injured or orphaned because of humans and their activities. AWC is dedicated to improving the interactions between wildlife and humans by making the rehabilitation process the central feature of our education programs. This is education in action, arousing public interest and concern for native wildlife. In order for AWC to remain successful in its mission, we must continue to expand and upgrade our current offerings.
If you’d like more information about the Nature for All Initiative, or would like more information about how to book a program, please contact our Education Program Coordinator, Viktoria, at email@example.com.
What inspired NFAI?
In November 2022, Booker T. Washington K-8 visited the Alabama Wildlife Center for a raptor program that included meeting our glove-trained educational ambassadors, a nature hike on Treetop Nature Trail, and a special release of a Red-tailed Hawk. This group consisted of 40 elementary students with 100% of the group being in a minority group. Halfway through the program, a student told our Executive Director that it was his first time ever being in the woods. Another student shared that this was their first time ever seeing birds up close. Shortly after, several students began to express that this trip sparked an interest in them to help animals when they grow up.
This program sparked a need to offer stipends to eliminate the financial burden of experiencing wildlife and connecting with nature. We often get requests from groups and schools that cannot afford our program fee. As a nonprofit, we have limited resources and ensure that all program money that comes in goes back to the educational department. While we have discounted rates, the reality is that many schools in Alabama are not financially able to spend money on outside programs.
We want to ensure that underserved communities and inner-city schools have the same opportunities as others, by providing free programs to those that may not have the budget for extracurricular offerings.