“Hopeful for the future of wildlife conservation”: Champions for Wildlife hosts ‘Wild for Hellbenders’ at Harmon Field

Published 12:29 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024

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TRYON—Champions for Wildlife, a nonprofit organization focused on inspiring the community to love and protect wildlife through the power of art, held a free community event at Harmon Field on Saturday, May 4. 

The event, ‘Wild for Hellbenders,’ was aimed at educating kids and their families about hellbenders, a species of giant salamander that lives in the fast-flowing waters of the Appalachian mountains. Before getting to work, participants were given a short presentation about these incredible creatures. 

With the help of Champions for Wildlife volunteers, kids and their families spent the morning creating their very own hellbender sculptures out of air-dry clay. The results were impressive, with some real masterpieces on display. 

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The highlight of the event arrived with Lori Williams, a wildlife biologist with the NC Wildlife Resource Commission. Williams brought along Rocky, a live ambassador hellbender, who spent the morning in his freshwater pool. Kids and their families were able to interact with Rocky and learn about his life from Williams. 

“We are thrilled to see kids who are curious about the natural world around them, and we are hopeful for the future of wildlife conservation when we witness such enthusiasm,” said Addie Lalumondier, education and outreach coordinator for Champions for Wildlife. 

Looking Glass Creamery and Champions for Wildlife are also excited to announce their upcoming partnership this summer. The two organizations will be back at Harmon Field at the end of June, offering another opportunity for the community to engage in wildlife conservation. Interested individuals can stay updated by signing up for the organization’s newsletter at championsforwildlife.org. 


Champions for Wildlife expressed gratitude to all those who participated in the event and encouraged parents to join in, as their involvement can exponentially increase the potential for wildlife conservation.