MAPS Class Explores the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center

Two combined classes– Andrew Slama’s biology class and Ben Gilliam’s MAPS class– went on a field trip to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center (CWWC). The goal of the CWWC is to educate the public through tours and programs to show the public the true importance of all varieties of wild canines and wildlife preservation. The CWWC also provides habitat and healthy living for wolves, coyotes and foxes.

Phoenix Stogdill (11), a student on the trip, said, “The sanctuary is constructed around a large circular trail with habitats for wolves, foxes and coyotes in the middle and on the outside of the trail.”

Ben Gillam, the teacher of the Junior MAPS class, said that he learned, “how awful humans had been to wolves” while on this trip. The tour guides went very into depth about this at the beginning of the trip. Human beings had hunted wild dogs to near extinction due to the animals eating the farm animals of ranchers. This was exploited by the fur industry and the wolves were far over-hunted for their warm and valuable pelts. However, Gilliam’s memories weren’t all that of tragedy. “My favorite part of the trip was seeing the coyotes. I love that there are still intelligent wild dogs,” Gilliam said. Coyotes, while being considered a pest animal, have not been exploited by hunting to the extent of other animals like wolves and certain species of foxes. Coyotes are still plentiful in the wild today, even
in urbanized areas.

For Gilliam’s MAPS class, a field trip like this is far from rare. Student’s of Gilliam’s have gone on fields trips to the fossil beds, a three day trip to the Sand Dunes, the Women’s Film Festival, The Broadmoor Seven Falls, and many more to come. MAPS doesn’t just go these field trips for fun. The point of MAPS, in Gillam’s words, is to “provide a feeling of acceptance and to show the students the true value that they contribute to a group setting.”

Out of all these trips, Gilliam’s favorite was the trip to the Sand Dunes due to the length of the trip. However, he enjoyed the CWWC because “it was so neat, and very near to our location.”