Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

In his habitat.(Final)

Byline: Polly Summar Journal Staff Writer

Nature center in Edgewood sprouts from man's love for wildlife Roger Alink decided to follow his heart: He would combine his love of the environment, wildlife, education and youth. So in 1994, he opened the nonprofit Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, a 122-acre refuge for more than 24 species of native rescued wildlife.

Alink, 56, serves as its director, with no salary -- "I married an angel; she's a travel agent and earns our living," he says. Visitors to the park can enjoy viewing the animals in built habitats along a nature walk or attend special events like chuck wagon dinner shows, bluegrass concerts or community celebrations.

The nature park is maintained by volunteers and youth, ages 14 to 24, who are paid through the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps and receive training in construction, habitat management and public presentation. …

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