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Cedar Cove is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Conservatory and Education Center located just South of Kansas City in Louisburg, Kansas. The park was open to the public in 2000 by William Pottorff with the goal of preserving endangered species from extinction while educating about the impending threats humans pose in the forms of illegal poaching and trade, environmental impact and the wholesale destruction of habitats and ecosystems for commercial trade.
From its inception, the park has been home to dozens of animals taken in as rescues from private ownership or the exotic trade as well as re-homes of animals from other facilities or abandoned wildlife run afoul of human activity.
Sitting on 11 acres donated by friend, neighbor and conservationist George Criswell, volunteer effort has developed and expanded the habitats to the fullest use of the land available to accommodate the growing number of animals that continue to come to Cedar Cove as their fate both in the wild and in captivity presses closer.
William Pottorff passed away in 2012 and trusted his legacy to Steve Klein and Bettie Auch who continue to expand upon William's vision to provide first-class veterinary care and enrichment for the animals as well as a leading-edge educational curriculum engaging preschoolers, students and seniors alike with a message of hope and empowerment.
Bettie and Steve manage the operations with a diverse group of educated, conservation minded individuals with a passion for big cats and other predators.
Steve left Kansas City in 2012 and took up residence on the property to continue Williams vigil. Cedar Cove's volunteers are one-of-a-kind individuals who prioritize their life decisions around the care of Cedar Cove and the animals.
Operations run year-round and include educational outreach programs, group and private tours, and participation in various recycling programs for expired meat, including Wal-Mart, that diverts consumer waste away from landfills and into the many ready mouths at Cedar Cove.
Now in its 16th year, Cedar Cove has the opportunity to purchase an additional 130 acres of undeveloped property adjacent to the existing grounds. In addition to providing the opportunity to care for more animals in need with greatly expanded habitats, future plans call for the creation of a sustainable aquaponic greenhouse and classroom, wildlife rehabillitation center, nature trail, observatory and more, all set within the serenity of lands systematically re-wilded to a living forest.
Projected trends of habitat and species loss are making conservation awareness and education more important than ever, and it is these very projects that showcase the diversity of Kansas City and bring positive change to entire communities.
Cedar Cove has seen a sharp rise in attendance not just with repeat visitors, but with groups coming from out of state, even out of country, bringing revenue to local communities and taking with them an awareness that lasts a lifetime.
We need your help now to raise $80,000 by July 1st, 2017 to secure the available 129 acres and the future growth of this conservatory and it’s educational message.
Please consider a gift to Cedar Cove to ensure these beautiful and important animals are still with us for you children and their great-grandchildren to appreciate and enjoy. Your help in supporting this endeavor will create a wonderful legacy of hope and inspiration that will endure.
- Heather Phillips
- Kenzie Hall
- Kathy Baumgartner
- Melissa Tacconi