Effective August 11, 2021, masks are required in all City of Asheville buildings. 
As a park within the City of Asheville, the WNC Nature Center will require masks for visitors ages five and older in all indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. 

Open 361 Days a Year: Admissions 10:00am – 3:30pm; park closes at 4:30pm

WNC Nature Center

Red Wolf Karma


  • Chris Gentile, Director
  • Erin Oldread, Animal Curator
  • Eli Strull, Curator of Education & Guest Experience
  • Jason Marshall, Exhibits/ Maintenance Curator
American River Otter

Animal Care

  • Erin Oldread, Animal Curator
  • Jo WilloughbyAssistant Animal Curator
  • Beth Rhyne, Veterinarian
  • Chesley Hollander, Animal Care 
  • Lori Hyatt, Animal Care 
  • Laura Pearson, Animal Care 
  • Jill Sharp, Animal Care 
  • Katie Weeks, Animal Care 
  • Ben Wilson, Animal Care 
Box Turtle


  • Eli Strull, Curator of Education & Guest Experience
  • Chrissy Cochran, Education Specialist & Ambassador Animal Coordinator
  • Alayna Schmidt, Education Specialist & Teen Programs Coordinator
American Black Bear

Guest Experience

  • Eli Strull, Curator of Education & Guest Experience
  • Jordan Rutherford, Guest Services Coordinator
  • Alice Gillespie, Guest Services Associate
  • Claudette JohnsonGuest Services Associate
  • Megan Krintz, Guest Services Associate
  • Eve Ryon, Guest Services Associate
Great Horned Owl


  • Jason Marshall, Exhibits/ Maintenance Curator
  • Ed Martinez, Maintenance Technician
  • Rob Nelson, Maintenance Technician

Friends of the WNC Nature Center

Gray Fox


  • Karen Babcock, Executive Director
  • Kate Frost, Development and Marketing Director

  • Marijke DeWulf, Gift Shop Associate
  • Tori Duval, Outreach Education Program Manager
  • Katie Lunsford-Wampler, Gift Shop Associate

  • Emily Owens, Visitor Services Specialist

  • Candace Poolton, Volunteer & Public Engagement Manager

  • Kerby Price, Retail Operations Manager

  • Kristen Schweikert, Membership Manager

  • Mollie Wilson, Gift Shop Associate
Missy the Bobcat

Board of Directors

  • Nicole Bentley, President
  • Holly Vestal, Secretary
  • Jean Wauford, Treasurer
  • Chris BubenikMember
  • Sarah Broberg, Member
  • Matt Kern, Member
  • Rita Larkin, Member
  • Laura McCue, Member
  • Ellen PatrickMember
  • Jonathan Thompson, Member