Founded in 2006 by Denise and Dr. Gary Riggs, Ohio-based Wild4Ever is an entirely volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the protection of animals in need and to the preservation of wild animals and habitats. While the wildlife conservation foundation has supported efforts with South American and Cambodian waterfowls, the Bornean Sun Bear and jaguars in Costa Rica and the Southwestern United States, Wild4Ever remains firmly committed to the protection and care of animals here in the Buckeye State. “You don’t have to go around the world to find charismatic endangered animals to help and you don’t have to sit back and wait for them to disappear,” says Dr. Riggs.
“You don’t have to go around the world to find charismatic endangered animals to help and you don’t have to sit back and wait for them to disappear,” says Dr. Riggs.
Dr. Riggs and the foundation have been known to donate more than $100,000 in in-kind services to the diagnosis and treatment of injured birds and other local wildlife. Wild4Ever is also a critical partner in SPOTD, a multi-organization project to study and grow spotted turtle populations here. Native to Northeast Ohio, the distinctive little turtle’s numbers are diminishing due to habitat loss, predation, declining water quality, poaching and other factors. “Our group has been able to increase the threatened population in our study area and we finished a multi-year genetic study that will aid in future planning,” says Riggs.
The Splash Fund of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium also has played a significant role in the SPOTD headstarting and habitat project. Not only has that involvement allowed for a number of spotted turtle hatchlings to be reared under the watchful eyes of a trained animal care team to a size more advantageous for their survival, but it has enabled interns to microchip and monitor spotted turtles in the wild post-release. “Underscoring the importance of the natural world and providing ways our community can make a positive impact on it is at the heart of the Splash Fund,” says Stephanie White.
The small nonprofit is dedicated to promoting and encouraging passion about aquatic life and participation in the conservation of fresh and saltwater habitats through sustainable human practices. Every summer the Splash Fund—in partnership with the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Cleveland Metroparks and Drink Local. Drink Tap.—invites the community to participate in a series of Adopt-A-Beach Cleanups. Over the years, its more than 40 events have attracted 1,491 volunteers who collected nearly 3,532 pounds of trash and recyclables. The Splash Fund also provides schools with demonstrated need access to life science-based education programs.
This has been a difficult year, and we fully realize that not everyone is in a position to give. But if you are and you’re passionate about wildlife education and conservation, we hope you’ll consider a #GivingTuesday donation to the Wild4Ever Foundation or the Splash Fund.
If you donate $10 or more to Wild4Ever Foundation or the Splash Fund between now and December 6, we’ll give you access to a virtual Zoom turtle program hosted by Greater Cleveland Aquarium on Tuesday December 22 at 6pm.**A Zoom link will be emailed to you closer to the program.
Author: Samantha F.