Just got word that The Wilds!, one of North America's largest conservation facilities, has a host of exciting programs happening this year. Those visiting the wildlife refuge in Cumberland, east of Zanesville, should definitely plan to attend one.

As a result of growing attendance rates, the Wilds is expanding its seasonal schedule to be open for visitors seven days a week during the months of June, July and August, according to a recent release.

"We're very excited about returning to being open for visitors seven day a week in the summer months," said Bobbie Dozer, director of Visitor Operations at the Wilds.

The Wilds will continue to be open weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) in May, September and October. The Wilds is also open Memorial Day and Labor Day. The opening day of the 2008 visitor season is May 3. Hours each day are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Full schedule after the jump...

Just got word that The Wilds!, one of North America's largest conservation facilities, has a host of exciting programs happening this year. Those visiting the wildlife refuge in Cumberland, east of Zanesville, should definitely plan to attend one.

As a result of growing attendance rates, the Wilds is expanding its seasonal schedule to be open for visitors seven days a week during the months of June, July and August, according to a recent release.

“We’re very excited about returning to being open for visitors seven day a week in the summer months,” said Bobbie Dozer, director of Visitor Operations at the Wilds.

The Wilds will continue to be open weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) in May, September and October. The Wilds is also open Memorial Day and Labor Day. The opening day of the 2008 visitor season is May 3. Hours each day are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

[Homepage] [Feature coverage]

Full schedule after the jump...

11th Annual EcoThon at the Wilds April 26 This 10K/5K Trail Run and 5K Trail Walk is set to begin at 10 a.m. on the Wilds' highly-regarded cross-country course. With the theme of “It’s Doggone Wild!” proceeds from this annual fundraiser will help support the conservation work for African wild dogs at the Wilds. Registration is $30 or $25 for Wilds members, and includes a free T-shirt, Safari Transport pass, refreshments, and more.

Into the Wilds May 16-18 and July 4-6 This three-day adventure for the whole family includes night safari tours, visits to animal facilities, wildlife discussions with staff, capturing and releasing wildlife, games, campfires, and explorations of wild areas. Cost is $150 adults; $120 children under 12.

Birding By Ear Workshop May 30 – June 1 This overnight workshop is for beginning, intermediate and advanced birders. Learn bird vocalizations from experts, meet new birding friends, see abundant grassland birds, learn to connect habitats with their inhabitants, and explore the uncharted bird spots on the Wilds. Lodging is in the Wilds’ yurt village. Cost is $125 per person. Pre-registration is required.

Family Camps June 20-22, July 18-20, and August 1-3 Adults, too, can now join their kids to experience summer camp at the Wilds’ yurt village, muckin’ in the marsh, fishing backcountry lakes, rappelling, canoeing, wildlife watching and all the fun learning opportunities of WildeCamp. Cost is $150 adults; $120 children under 12.

Wilds Art Camp August 15-17 Join art teachers in the season of wildflower abundance on the Wilds. Use different media and improve your artistic technique as you explore both the detailed and sweeping visuals. This camp is designed for those ages 18 and older. Cost is $150 per person.

Wilds Photo Camp September 26-28 Head out on safari in search of Asian rhinos, African antelope, soaring raptors and spectacular scenery -- without ever leaving Ohio! At a pace that allows ample time to explore the decisive visual moments, you'll learn photo techniques from expert photographers and build your portfolio of stunning flora, landscapes, and wildlife during this exclusive opportunity. This camp is designed for those ages 18 and older. Cost is $150 per person.

Working Wild Camp Augut 10-15 The Wild Vet Camp that began in 2007 as part of the WildeCamp program has been expanded to include two more career learning opportunities and is now called Working Wild Camp. This hands-on practicum camp is for youth ages 14 to 19 wanting to learn more about being a wildlife veterinarian, naturalist, or animal management specialist. Lab and field classes with Wilds staff will provide many opportunities to learn about these important careers in conservation. Cost is $575; $518 for Wilds members.

Lodging for all overnight camp programs is at the Wilds’ yurt village camp. For more information about these programs, including registration and costs, please visit www.thewilds.org, email reservations@thewilds.org, or call 740-638-5030 ext. 2286.

(Photos from the Dispatch archives)