Artist Leverages Sculpture to Advocate for Endangered & Misunderstood Animals

April 16th, 2020

We’ve decided to spotlight a Reflection Riding team member of the week so that our community can know more about the people who keep things moving forward for us. This week, we’re grateful for Loti Woods and Dale Weiler — two of Reflection Riding’s many great supporters, based near Asheville, NC.

Dale is a long-time wildlife artist focusing on misunderstood and little-known native wildlife like red wolves, hellbenders, bats, turkey vultures, and opossums. He and Loti first got involved at Reflection Riding when Dale finished making a beautiful set of limited edition red wolf castings. He and Loti decided they wanted to donate them to organizations doing great work with native wildlife, land and plants. They called a friend at Defenders of Wildlife in Asheville who noted that Reflection Riding is doing really good work with the Red Wolves Program and made an introduction.

Late last fall, Dale and Loti came to Chattanooga and unveiled the red wolf sculpture that is now installed in our welcome Center at a member event. They stayed a few days, did some interviews, and became really impressed with the Reflection Riding team, especially Mark, Tish and Taylor. They also found the facility and the property just spectacular and felt an immediate connection to this place, the team and the mission. 

“Reflection Riding has a vision that is really headed in the right direction and we are inspired by this work,” Loti noted. “We are really looking forward to heading back to Reflection Riding again when things calm down — we still need to paddle the creek and attend the native plant sale.”

Dale and Loti were also really impressed to see our Forest School and Kindergarten children loving the outdoors, even in winter. They think that getting young people more aware of, comfortable in and excited about nature is one of the most valuable things Reflection Riding can do — and we agree!

Last week, Loti and Dale decided to make a generous financial gift to Reflection Riding, earlier in the year than they normally would and to give more than they normally would. When asked what moved them to give, Dale said, “We know that Reflection Riding has lost significant income by being closed, and we wanted to help. We’ve been so impressed with the staff’s creativity to move the plant sale on-line. We wanted to support their vision now, when they need the funding most, not wait to do our usual year-end gift.” Loti chimed in, “Really, we want to inspire others who can to do the same thing — give now to support this place, this team, these animals and plants we all love while they need it most.” Loti and Dale also point out that Reflection Riding has made a good plan for moving forward with smart leadership, good chemistry, and lots of energy.

We hope that, if in these hard times, you are able to support Reflection Riding financially that you’ll join Loti and Dale and consider a gift today. You can make a gift here or you can become a member here. Thank you Loti and Dale, and our entire community, for all your support!

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