Joseph J. and Helen M. Sommer Wildlife Conservation Center

The Wildlife Conservation Center is at capacity for wildlife intakes.  Please continue to call the center for advice and wildlife questions. 

Baby Squirrel

Sippo Lake Park-West
800 Genoa Ave NW (west side of Sippo Lake Park)
Massillon, OH 44646

Phone: 330.477.0448

Operating Hours:
Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wildlife Enclosure Viewing: Open daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Use the entrance from the trail behind the center.

Due to confirmed rabies cases in raccoons in the Stark County area, the Wildlife Center cannot accept any raccoons for rehabilitation until further notice.  We will continue to offer natural deterrents and alternative methods when raccoons den in attics, chimneys, or under porches or sheds.  We recommend playing a radio on a hard rock station for 3 days and nights to create a consistent noise. The adult will be annoyed and move any young with her.

About the Wildlife Conservation Center

Front view of Wildlife Conservation CenterA new facility opened in June 2018 inside the west entrance of Sippo Lake Park, off of Genoa Ave. NW. The center is dedicated to wildlife rehabilitation services and a licensed Category 2 facility.

State and federal permits allow our experienced staff to care for nearly 2,000 injured and orphaned native wild animals each year. With assistance from local veterinarians who volunteer their services, the staff releases over 55% of the animals they care for. In accordance with state regulations, all wild animals accepted for rehabilitation become the property of the State of Ohio. 

The new Wildlife Conservation Center was designed to maximize education and conservation of local wildlife. It allows Stark Parks to provide better care for native wildlife in a more technologically-advanced clinic and exam room. Live animal exhibits are open for public viewing and showcase how native animals live in the wild.  

Your support is needed to continue to provide quality wildlife education and outdoor experiences. The educational programs provided, along with the animal rehabilitation, will help safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come.

The Friends of Stark Parks has an endowment fund at the Stark Community Foundation to help support the Wildlife Conservation Center building. Anyone interested in supporting the Wildlife Conservation Center Fund may donate to this endowment or directly to Friends of Stark Parks. Your gift to this endowment will provide for the rehabilitation and conservation center and the perpetual care of the animals by the dedicated staff and volunteers. A planned gift will create a living legacy for you and your family.

The Center also houses non-releasable live wildlife used as educational program ambassadors. These animal ambassadors are used in programs at park locations, area schools, libraries, community events, and distance learning.


The indoor atrium features rotating displays and exhibits throughout the year.  Outdoor enclosures house non-releasable wildlife ambassadors that permanently live at the center and are used at wildlife programs, area schools, libraries, community events, and distance learning.  Both areas are open to visitors with free admission during regular hours.

A multi-purpose trail connects the center to the Exploration Gateway and Sippo Lake Marina and several natural surface trails.

Ways to Give

The Friends of Stark Parks have an endowment fund to help support the Wildlife Conservation Center. Donations can be made to the The Friends of Stark Parks Wildlife Building/Maintenance Fund at the Stark Community Foundation or directly to Friends of Stark Parks.  Your gift will provide for the development of the center and the perpetual care of wildlife patients.  A planned gift will create a living legacy for you and your family.

To learn more about contributing to the endowment or to the building fund, please contact Friends of Stark Parks at 330-477-3552.


Volunteer applications can be submitted from Sept. 15, 2021 through April 15, 2022 or until the maximum number of volunteers is reached.  

Volunteer your property as a release site for wildlife returning to the wild.  Complete the short application and we'll be in touch.