Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care celebrates opening of Outdoor Learning Center

New facility made possible by Tahoe Fund donors offers public access to select Tahoe-area rehabilitated wildlife for the first time

A black bear at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.
Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care
Gallery caption: “The work the team at LTWC does to rescue, rehabilitate and release animals back into the wild is well aligned with the Tahoe Fund’s mission,” said Cory Ritchie, Tahoe Fund vice chair. | Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care

Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care last week celebrated the opening of its Outdoor Learning Center, the first public component of a new $6 million campus.

Thanks to a $30,000 contribution from Tahoe Fund donors, including the Mathman Family and a $15,000 match from Tahoe Blue Vodka, the public will now have the opportunity to see and learn about some of the animals in the group’s care. A porcupine, an eagle, kestrels and owls are a few of the animals the center will use for educational purposes.

“Thanks to this support from the Tahoe Fund, we now have an outdoor amphitheater that allows us to share some of what we do with the public,” said Bruce Richards, LTWC capital projects director. “The Outdoor Learning Center provides a new opportunity to educate visitors about our efforts and how they can help.”

“People are more inclined to protect what they understand, so we are happy that visitors will have the unique opportunity to learn about and connect with local wildlife,” said Cory Ritchie, Tahoe Fund vice chair. “The work the team at LTWC does to rescue, rehabilitate and release animals back into the wild is well aligned with the Tahoe Fund’s mission.”

Since 1978, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care has rescued, rehabilitated and released more than 17,000 orphaned and injured wild birds and animals back into the wild. After outgrowing its original property in the founder’s backyard, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care purchased its current 27-acre property in South Lake Tahoe in 2015 through donations and fundraising efforts. Seven buildings have been built since, quadrupling the space to care for wild animals.

“Since day one, Tahoe Blue Vodka has committed to giving back to local organizations that are making a difference for Lake Tahoe,” said Matt Levitt, Tahoe Blue Vodka founder and CEO. “Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care has been such a tremendous asset to injured Tahoe wildlife that setting up a matching donation to help create the Outdoor Learning Center just made sense. We’re so excited to see the facility come to fruition and know it will be a great resource in the effort to help educate visitors and residents about the important work LTWC does.”

Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care’s seasonal Wildlife Wednesdays educational talks at the Outdoor Learning Center started this week. The free, hour-long presentations will be offered through September by advance reservation only and will feature a rotating schedule of topics and expert presentations. All will include information about what to do when encountering a bear, and what to do when finding an orphaned or injured wild animal. Space at each event will be limited and schedules and sign-ups will be available at

Wildlife Wednesdays

Time: Wednesdays through September, 6 to 7 p.m.

Location: 1551 Al Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe

Cost: Free



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