The Lincoln County Library sponsored a live reptile show on Saturday, July 9 at the Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center. The event was free and open to all. At least 285 people attended, including dozens of very enthusiastic children. The first presentation was held in the classroom, but because of the large number a second presentation was held at the observation area in the main hall. Snakes, turtles and a lizard were on display and participants were allowed to pet some of them.


The grand opening of the Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center was held on June 4. The beautiful, sunny day saw a crowd of about 1,200 people turn out for this special event. The day started off with an early morning bird walk led by members of the Handlan Chapter of the Brooks Bird Club. Lots of birds were seen and heard by the 40 participants.

The event included two live raptor presentations by the WV Raptor Rehabilitation Center, tours of the center, exhibits by the WV Division of Forestry, WV DNR, City of Charleston’s 3-D topographic sandbox, a fishing game for kids, the Coal River Group, DNR Law Enforcement, the DNR’s famous Snakes Alive presentation and much more. One happy raffle ticket holder went home with a new kayak from the Forks of  Coal State Natural Area Foundation.


The center is now open daily except State holidays. Hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.


We wish to thank the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the West Virginia Trophy Hunters Association for their generosity in providing funding for the elk exhibit. The handsome, full body mount bull elk arrived this summer from South Dakota and was installed in the main hall in October by  Split Rock Studios along with the other specially created exhibits at the Center.

Elk were once native to our area and the WV Division of Natural Resources is working cooperatively with other organizations to re-establish a population in Logan and Mingo Counties on the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area.


        Two rounds of bricks have been installed at the entry to the Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center. The Foundation is now taking orders for the third round of bricks. This is the perfect time to order a brick to commemorate a friend, honor a loved one or celebrate a special occasion. Bricks make great gifts, too. You can order a brick by going to the Welcome page on this website or any other page that has the brick button, or e-mail us at:

Thanks to everyone who ordered bricks. We appreciate your support!


If you are enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program, you can now support the Foundation by visiting, logging into your account and selecting Forks of  Coal State Natural Area Foundation by name or number – LU195.


Thanks to the talented students and community spirited teachers at Boone Career and Technical Center, new habitat was built for a native bird species that needs a place to live. Chimney Swifts are a beneficial part of our ecosystem because they eat lots of insects, but lack of chimneys and other suitable habitat has led to a decline in their populations.

Chimney Swifts migrate to South America to escape our cold winters and return  in late March. Nesting begins in May and they fly south again in November.

The Foundation collaborated with the Handlan Chapter of the Brooks Bird Club to fund construction of the tower to provide a nesting/resting place for the birds. Since no one in the Foundation or the Bird Club was experienced in building anything like this, the Boone Career and Technical Center (BCTC) stepped up to make it happen.

Thanks to Foundation board members Bobby Miller and Frank Coulter, Jim Triplett and Rick Gregg of the Bird Club and several students from BCTC.

Chimney Swifts arrived on the property this spring (2022) and have been seen near the tower. Let’s hope they will make it their home.

Fundraising for the Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center is ongoing. Programs, trail maintenance and additions to the Orange Trail system are planned. Click Here to support the center with a donation of any amount.

Design Renderings for Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center: Front (above) and rear (below)

Forks of Coal Rear

Click here to see full interior design rendering

Other News: 

TheForks of Coal State Natural Area Foundation gratefully accepts gifts and donations from individuals, families, groups of friends, businesses and community organizations for Forks of Coal State Natural Area. The Foundation is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization. For more information about the park bench sponsorships contact Kim McCluskey at 304/982-2008.

Donations may be made through our website.

Click here to donate.