Many visitors to Corolla make it a point to visit the Whalehead Club on the banks of the Currituck Sound. They take a tour of the old estate and if they are lucky, get to experience a festival on the grounds. However, festivals are sporadic throughout the year and have a wide range of topics. But across from Whalehead in the Currituck Heritage Park is a wealth of exciting year round activities for the entire family at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education.
Open Monday-Saturday from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm, the free admission center has 5,000 square feet of displays showing the natural beauty and rich history of northeast North Carolina. Exhibits include a special gallery of over 250 antique waterfowl decoys showcasing the areas tradition of hunting and watersports.
An 8,000 gallon aquarium highlights the many species of fish native to the Currituck Sound. There is also an auditorium that plays a feature film called “Life by Water’s Rhythms” throughout the day. The 20 minute movie dissects the natural and cultural history of the region and the importance of the Currituck Sound in it.
Classes and Programs
But the true treasure of the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education is the abundance of free classes and programs available. Visitors can get training in activities such as Archery, Fishing, Hunting, and Kayaking with the help of expert instructors free of charge. There are also programs to learn about the different wildlife of the region like frogs, birds, whales and sea turtles.
Also available are different art classes in wildlife photography and “Gyotaku” which is the art of Japanese Fish Printing.
Guests can even take guided tours of the predominant habitats of the area like beaches and maritime forests. Each tour begins near the Center and provides attendees hands on experience with the plants and wildlife indigenous to that habitat. The class “Searching a Maritime Forest for Tracks and Traces” even takes guests up into the four wheel drive section of Corolla, home to the famous wild horses.
Each class or program is free of charge and has a target age group. The majority of programs are geared to all ages. Children as young as two years old even have their own programs. Guests can view the programs calendar, see detailed course descriptions, spaces available, and book online.
The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education is located at 1160 Village Lane in Corolla. Though admission to the center is free, donations are graciously accepted.