The Boone County Conservation District houses a number of native animal ambassadors at the Roger D. Gustafson Nature Center.
All of these animals are on exhibit and used for educational programs with local schools, scouts and the general public.

Adoption is a great way to nature education in Boone County and to generate funds for the care, housing and feeding of the nature center’s animal ambassadors.

When you adopt an animal ambassador you gain a special friend at the nature center while lending support to environmental education.  Your adoption is a great gift to friends and family.

Adoptions are available for six or twelve months.

Download the brochure here.

Adoption Options

Family or Individual Adoption

  • Adoption Certificate
  • Animal Fact Sheet
  • Activity Sheet
  • Your name listed in donor exhibit
  • Open invitation to visit with your animal and snap a selfie!

Classroom/Group Adoption

  • Adoption Certificate
  • Animal Fact Sheet
  • Activity Sheet(s)
  • Group listed in donor exhibit
  • Special animal visit during your class or group meeting time

Gift Adoption

Parents, grandparents and friends can adopt an animal for a special person and we will send them an adoption package and gift acknowledgement.

Birthday Adoption

The adopted animal will be used as part of our birthday party program.

During the party the child will be presented with the adoption packet and have his/her picture taken with the animal and will receive a birthday button with the animals’ picture on it. (Party cost is in addition to the adoption cost).

Choose from these animals:

Red Eared Slider Turtle

Painted Turtle

Miss Hiss Bull Snake

Box Turtle

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Adoptions are available for six or twelve months. Click here for the Adoption Application.

Consider a Donation to help maintain our:

blandingsBlanding’s Turtle Monitoring Program

Blanding’s Turtles are equipped with a radio transmitter (when available) for long-term monitoring.

These transmitters emit a signal that is picked up by a radio receiver and antennae, allowing us to pinpoint their location in the field. When a turtle is located, staff and volunteers document the habitat type and location, as well as the condition of the turtle.

This has allowed us to create a range map of a Blanding’s Turtle population in Boone County, and allows us to anticipate their seasonal movements between habitats. This knowledge has allowed us to prioritize Blanding’s Turtle habitats for management and perform the work when the turtles are not utilizing them.

Telemetry monitoring of Blanding’s Turtles is a costly, but worthwhile, endeavor. If you wish to donate toward our monitoring effort of this Endangered Species, please contact BCCD Administration at (815) 547-7935.