Metro Parks Board accepts record donation

The Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution Monday night formally accepting a record amount of funds raised for Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s Wild & Wily: Red Foxes and Coyotes Come to Trek campaign.

The Wild & Wily project is the largest single capital project ever undertaken by Trek. Private campaign contributions from the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and others totaled $491,956.88 for the exhibit.

“This is the largest amount of money raised for Trek in its entire 29-year history – a sign of strong community support for the park,” said Metro Parks Tacoma Board president Eric Steinmeyer. “Trek received gifts from 250 individuals and foundations. This was extraordinary, given the fundraising climate for non-profits in the past few years.”

The Wild & Wily red fox and coyote exhibits, which opened in May 2003, complete Trek’s canid (wild dog family) collection. The new exhibits are located next to Trek’s gray wolf exhibit. Visitors are able to watch red foxes dig underground dens in their forested quarter-acre home or listen to coyotes howl in their half-acre exhibit. The centerpiece of the complex is a rustic ‘research cabin’ – a depiction of an 1850s-era trapper’s cabin converted to a modern-day field researcher’s home. The cabin features historical artifacts of an early 19th-century animal trapper together with modern-day scientific tools – computers, microscopes, remote cameras and a weather station.

So successful was the Wild & Wily fundraising campaign, that for the first time in the park’s history, Trek has established an endowment fund that is currently worth $50,000.

“On behalf of the Metro Parks Tacoma Board, we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the campaign,” Steinmeyer said.