UPDATE: As of Friday, May 8, until further notice, the WNC Nature Center is still temporarily closed to the public. The Nature Center is working closely with the City of Asheville to determine the safest possible date to reopen. This will most likely take place during Phase 3 of North Carolina’s Stay at Home order. 

Open 361 Days a Year: 10:00am – 5:00pm, last entry 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 
  • Meghan Ream, Animal Care 
  • Jill Sharp, 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
  • Eve Ryon, Guest Services Associate
Great Horned Owl


  • Jason Marshall, Exhibits/ Maintenance Curator
  • Eddy Martinez, Maintenance Technician
  • Caitlin Temme, Housekeeping
  • Brad Vanness, Laborer

Friends of the WNC Nature Center

Gray Fox


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

  • Tori Duval, Outreach Education Specialist

  • Shannon Lally, Visitor Services Specialist

  • Candace Poolton, Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator

  • Nick Pressley, Gift Shop Assistant

  • Kerby Price, Retail Operations Manager

  • Kristen Schweikert, Membership Manager

Missy the Bobcat

Board of Directors

  • Nora Carpenter, President
  • Nicole Bentley, Vice President
  • Jason Chambers, Treasurer
  • Sarah Thomas-Moore, Secretary
  • Sarah Broberg, Member
  • Karen Cogburn, Member
  • Jonathan Hettrick, Member
  • George Ivey, Member
  • Matt Kern, Member
  • Brian Lawler, Member
  • Butch Patrick, Member
  • Jonathan Thompson, Member
  • Holly Vestal, Member
  • Jean Wauford, Member