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Nov 08, 2022

“All right – who’s ready to go into the park and do some science?” “YEAH!!!!” The yell was impressive – but so was the quiet focus that followed as Ms. Hastler’s first grade class lined up to put on their yellow waterproof “science jackets.” It was the very first in-the-park science week for Wildlife Champions at Lister Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington, and the 16 first-graders were bubbling with excitement. Zoo volunteer Brittany (left) and educators Sam Hain and Liz Hines help Lister students put on their “science jackets” for the outdoor lesson. “What kind of animals do you think we’ll see …

May 12, 2022

Down a peaceful side trail at Northwest Trek, just past the zipline, a tiny door is just visible in the grass. No, you’re not imagining things. It’s a fairy house, and there are at least a dozen more dotted along the same trail – just keep your eyes open. “I was inspired by a ‘gnome trail’ I hiked with my family,” says Rick Dietz, Northwest Trek’s Deputy Director. “I thought it would be a fun way to add some excitement to our trails and encourage people to explore them more.” Fairy Fun And the Trek Fairy Trail does make for …

Feb 22, 2022

This Black History Month, we sat down with Sunni, a zookeeper at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park who helps make the park the incredibly special place it is. We asked her about her experiences in zookeeping and what working with animals and wildlife means to her. Q: What is your favorite part of the job? A: I love working with and creating a relationship with the animals. I also enjoy creating fun and special moments with children on the Keeper Adventure Tours I lead. It’s wonderful watching them discover something new and cool and seeing their reaction to the animals. Q: …

Oct 21, 2021

They were literally jumping up and down as soon as they got off the buses. “Animals! We’re going to see animals!” It was the first-ever field trip for Beyond the Bell, a groundbreaking new partner program offering after-school activities and childcare to Tacoma students. But Friday October 8 was a no-school data day – and so Beyond the Bell was bringing any K-5 child who signed up on a field trip to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, all day long. And every single one of the 155 students was incredibly excited. Beyond the Bell is a comprehensive program for Tacoma elementary …

May 04, 2021

Go beyond the typical Mother’s Day gifts and give mom a memorable experience she can enjoy with the whole family this year. Swim with sharks, get up close to a moose or touch a jellyfish! She won’t soon forget these amazing experiences at Northwest Trek and our sister zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! Swim with Sharks Experience the thrill of getting up close to more than a dozen massive sharks underwater while learning about their biology and how we can protect them in the wild. Up to 4 people from the same household can dive together at the same …

Jan 14, 2021

What a windstorm! Tuesday night’s strong gusts hit Northwest Trek hard. Fallen trees and branches covered nearly every road and pathway in the park and fences had to be rebuilt. But, with great team effort and the help of a few leaf blowers, the park will open just in time for the 3-day weekend ahead (it even has dry weather in the forecast!). It was all hands on deck this week, as employees from each department surveyed the forested paths, picking up branches while maintenance staff worked tirelessly to clear trees. “Thank you all for pitching in so we can …

Mar 22, 2018

It’s kind of obvious that Rachael Mueller is passionate about recycling. Standing in front of the entire Northwest Trek staff at a monthly staff meeting, the wildlife park’s Conservation Program Coordinator flips through slides and speaks with an urgency most of us don’t associate with used tires and electrical wire. But Mueller has a mission – to protect the wild places she herself discovered as a child. And she’s helping Northwest Trek do that through recycling. What do we recycle? Pretty much everything, it seems. Mueller’s staff presentation is all about mixed recycling – paper, plastic, metal. But Northwest Trek …

Feb 14, 2018

She’s a staff member most visitors to Northwest Trek will never see – yet she’s vital to the well-being of every single animal in the Eatonville wildlife park. She’s had a career that’s included everything from ski racing to cattle driving. She’s Dr. Allison Case, head veterinarian at Northwest Trek, and her life is a unique intersection of three things: a passion for wildlife, a passion for the outdoors and a love of learning. “I like studying, finding out what’s wrong,” says Case, who became Trek’s full-time vet in 2017 after 11 years of dividing her time between the wildlife …