WoW! Wildlife on Wheels Takes Education Far Out

Thanks to generous grants and other donations, the Refuge debuted its Wildlife on Wheels (Wow) mobile classroom on December 12, 2020. WoW will be scheduled to visit schools, libraries, conservation-minded events, and economically challenged and minority communities in the five-county area to teach about water quality, the ecosystem, wildlife, and other topics that meet the Refuge’s mission. 

DDWS has hired bilingual educators, who, along with volunteers and interns, will staff the museum-quality, hands-on exhibits inside and outside WoW to maximize their inspirational learning potential. Learning stations will interpret mangrove ecosystems, water quality, water conservation, pollution and plastic, animal scats and tracks, Florida’s native animals, and wildlife sounds. Staff will draw on knowledge gained in the classroom and design programs to complement Florida educational STEM requirements.

“Refuge staff has been wishing for a mobile education facility for many years, but has not been able to further the project due to staff and funding shortages,” said DDWS Executive Director Birgie Miller. “Now that the Society has found support to bolster the Refuge Education Team, the time is right to spread the Refuge message to those who are unable to visit ‘Ding’ Darling on their own and to schools too far away to bring here by bus.”

Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the WoW project can click HERE  or contact Birgie at 239-472-1100 ext. 232.

To schedule Wow to appear at your school, venue, or event, click HERE.  

2021 WoW STATS

  • From January through May, had 5,620 students visit at schools throughout the district
  • 60 students visited at Spring Break Camp at the Fort Myers YMCA
  • 625 visited while parked at the Refuge on select dates
  • Made three week-long school camp visits during the summer, reaching more than 300 students


Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Tice Elementary from the assistant principal.

Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Lehigh Senior High.

Click HERE to read a letter about WoW's visit to Lehigh Elementary.