History

The Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center was started by Stan and Joanna Wulkowicz who were school teachers in Anchorage, Alaska for many years. Stan taught biology and was an avid hunter who took up taxidermy as a hobby. He used his stuffed animals in his classroom to teach the students about Alaskan wildlife. Over time his collection of Alaskan birds and other wildlife grew. In retirement, Stan and Joanna decided to return to Put-in-Bay, where Stan had grown up, to build a wildlife museum. The Alaskan Birdhouse Museum opened in 1993 and was a favorite destination for both the local community and school groups. The museum closed in 2003 and the Wulkowicz’s generously offered to donate the museum and its contents if the LEIC-BSC would be willing to purchase and preserve the wooded portion of the property. The Lake Erie Islands chapter of the Black Swamp Conservancy and the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society joined forces to purchase the property, building, and woods in 2008. In 2012 we became an independent non-profit organization giving interpretative guided tours and doing a variety of outdoor education and outreach programs on the islands.

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The mission of the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center is to promote conservation and education of the flora, fauna, and lands of the Lake Erie Islands ecosystem.