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Northwest Trek News
Feb 21, 2024

During Tacoma Public Schools January mini-term, students at the Science and Math Institute (SAMi), School of the Arts (SOTA), and Industrial Design Engineering and Art (IDEA) choose one class from a variety of exciting, hands-on courses to deep-dive into all month long. You’ll see students enthusiastic and eager to learn on any given day. Students in the “Jurassic Zoo and Aquarium” class studied the habitats at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park to re-create the famous Jurassic Park using current zoo and aquarium design criteria. “We encouraged the students to create their own more ethical, sustainable, …

Dec 04, 2023

On a chilly, sunny November morning in Eatonville, more than 150 third, fourth, and fifth-grade students from Tacoma’s Lister Elementary gathered at the entrance to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. “We can’t wait to see the bears!” “The wolves!” “The cougar!” students all chimed in, bundled up in jackets and hats. Their excitement far outweighed the 40-degree temperature. They split up into small groups and gathered around a park map. “Where should we start?” asked fifth-grade teacher Anna Paker. “The bobcats!” her group of five students exclaimed, and off they were to explore the cat loop. Immediately, the students pointed out …

Oct 09, 2023

We’re celebrating Northwest Trek’s two incredible vet techs for Veterinary Technician Week (Oct. 15-21)! The vet techs assist the veterinarians in every aspect of animal health care: Prepping for procedures. Monitoring animal vitals. Taking blood samples. Working with keepers to help animals participate in their health care. Giving treatments. Endless administrative support. “Our veterinary technicians, Tracy and Deanna, perform a vast array of duties, and the veterinary clinic could not function without them,” said Head Veterinarian Dr. Allison Case. “We are so grateful for what each of them brings to the position and consider ourselves very lucky to have them …

Jul 16, 2023

National Zookeeper Week takes place July 18-24 this year. The week is devoted to sharing the passion and dedication of keepers. Our zookeepers are a dedicated group of people who work tirelessly each day to provide the animals with the best care possible. Rain or shine, keepers must be ready for anything 365 days a year. They are involved in the lives of the animals they care for often from birth to death and every moment in between, creating lifelong bonds. Whether it’s rearranging an animal’s “furniture” in their habitat to keep them new, fresh, and exciting, helping with medical …

May 17, 2023

More than 100 employees of REI assembled recently at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park to put their passion for the outdoors to work. Spreading mulch, pulling invasive weeds, installing new fencing or re-potting tree saplings, these volunteers cheerfully provided valuable support    “It was great to welcome this dedicated group of REI employees, who arrived ready to work and accomplished everything we asked of them with – and more,” said Jackie Beatty, a naturalist who coordinates Northwest Trek’s volunteer program. “We appreciate the energy they brought to improve habitats for our animals and help us with important projects throughout the wildlife …

May 08, 2023

Go beyond the typical Mother’s Day gifts and give mom a memorable experience she can enjoy with the whole family this year. Get up close to a moose, groom a goat or touch a jellyfish! She won’t soon forget these amazing  experiences at Northwest Trek and our sister zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium! 1. Go on a Wild Drive Uh-oh! There’s a traffic jam… a herd of bison are in the road! This Wild Drive is bound to be much more exciting than rush hour on I-5. Take your own personal vehicle on the paved roads through Northwest Trek’s peaceful 435-acre …

Apr 19, 2023

Caring for our animals, habitats, park grounds, and guests at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park requires hours of hard work and dedication – not only from our dedicated staff but also from our generous volunteers. For National Volunteer Week, we want to extend a tremendous thank you to our hard-working volunteers who have donated their time and expertise. Looking back at 2022, our volunteers logged 7,318 hours! Broken down by area, we saw: 3,790 in Animal Care 259 in Conservation 2,225 in Nature Engagement 510 in Horticulture and Maintenance As a result of their time, our animals received extra enrichment and …

Dec 14, 2022

Imagine this: you’re driving to Northwest Trek and see the sun peeking through the clouds and illuminating Mt. Rainier. You’re welcomed with a still, frosty winter morning at the wildlife park when you arrive. You are greeted with the sounds of eagles screeching and gray wolves howling. Even better, you’re walking into a Winter Wildland Wonderland created by the Northwest Trek staff. It’s the start of a perfect day filled with the magic of nature. On a recent December afternoon, staff members spent time doing what might look like arts and crafts to an outsider. But to the keepers and …

Oct 24, 2022

It’s one of the most festive events of the year — Pumpkin Chomp & Stomp at Northwest Trek. Guests can see Halloween decorations throughout the wildlife park, take a Haunted Hike, and watch animals play with PLENTY of pumpkins. The horticulture team at Northwest Trek grows many of the pumpkins. This year, they produced about 30 pumpkins and 400 various hybrid gourds. “Every year, we give pumpkins to our animals as part of the Pumpkin Chomp & Stomp event,” horticulturist Jake explained. “But a few years ago, I noticed that some of the carving pumpkins weren’t very nutritious.” In 2018, Jake researched pumpkin …

Oct 11, 2022

There are people who decorate for Halloween. There are people who recreate a haunted house. And then there’s Hoot ‘n’ Howl: an entire wildlife park full of spooky decorations, lights, glowing pumpkins, games, and treats. The annual Northwest Trek fall event (this year 5-9pm Oct. 14-15 and 21-22) takes weeks of preparation from almost every single staff member: zookeepers, naturalists, admissions staff, maintenance crew and more. But it’s worth every minute. Pumpkins and Prep “It’s a lot of work, but it’s so much fun,” says Jessica, the naturalist leading the event. On a Thursday afternoon one week before Hoot ‘n’ …