Out of Hibernation
It’s the day that thousands of locals have been waiting for: The Oatland Island Wildlife Center Grand Reopening.
This 4 hour event had a combination of music, food trucks, animal encounters, and the best part, free admission. As soon as ten o’clock hit, cars lined up to get in and soon you began to see cars along the highway, people walking 1-2 miles just to get to this event. Annie Quinting, a staff member at Oatland Island says, “We think we had between 4 and 5 thousand people. I think our parking lot was full by 12. So they started parking on the road out to the highway and on the highway after that.”
Oatland Island was shut down from July 27-Dec 10 due to a tornado causing “lots of trees down, boardwalk/trail damage, deer, bobcat, and wolf habitat damage, sidewalk damage, Heritage Home Site damage, the storage building destroyed, damage to the new barnyard restrooms, and forest aviary damage.” Quinting explains. With so many families around, this center was a great way to get locals outside and loving it.
A local, Megan Freeman says, “My husband and I go to Oatland Island because our little girl Marlee loves animals and we live right down the road. It’s great because you get to see a bunch of wildlife while also taking a nice walk along a trail that’s peaceful.” If you have never been to Oatland, you are definitely missing out. Visit http://www.oatlandisland.org/ for more information.
Pictured above: Marlee Freeman gets a close encounter with a wolf, loving every second of it.