Memberships help give scholarships for camps

Wander the Wild 2022

This year’s 14th annual Wander the Wild will once again be a hybrid event, with an online auction open to all on September 12-17, and the live reception and auction on Sunday, September 18, 2:30-5:30pm at the Windmill House in Chino Valley. The live event starts with appetizers and beverages on a beautiful tree-lined patio while the auction is on a verdant grassy knoll adjacent to a lake and shaded by lovely trees.

We plan to make the event especially gratitude filled as we are Celebrating 25 Years of service to youth and adults in our community. All proceeds directly fund youth educational programs.


Wander the Wild is the signature annual fundraiser to benefit the Highlands Center for Natural History. Historically an in-person outdoor and indoor event, this year’s auction will once again be the best of both worlds, an on-line auction culminating with an in person auction outdoors at the lovely Windmill House! Can’t be at the live event? Don’t worry, while you may miss the live event the proxy bidding system will allow you to continue bidding up to a maximum bid of your choice.

WE ARE AMAZED AND GRATEFUL at the outpouring of donations for our auction! The Highlands Center staff and Wander the Wild committee members have added a wide variety of NEW PACKAGES.

ALL PROFITS from the auction directly fund youth educational programs which enrich 10,000 children annually and provide scholarships for children and elementary school classes to attend outdoor programs based on exploration and discovery at our site in the Prescott National Forest. The auction features outdoor experiential packages, travel to exciting destinations, educational field trips, nature inspired works of art by local artists and much more! With local, regional, national, and international experiences and destinations, the auction offers something for everyone!

A value-filled auction for a worthy cause…IT’S FOR THE KIDS! A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU, OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS, DONORS, AND BIDDERS, for your enthusiastic support of our auction and the youth educational programs at the Highlands Center for Natural History!

We can’t do it without you, and WE APPRECIATE YOU to the moon and beyond!

WTW Invite

Our 2022 Wander the Wild Sponsors

Legacy Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor:

Sustaining Sponsors:

Yavapai Title Agencey Logo

Contributing Sponsors:

Supporting Sponsors:

Vicente Landscaping Logo

2021 Wander the Wild Results: Success!

The Highlands Center’s 13th Annual Wander the Wild Auction was, for the first time, a hybrid event with an on-line silent auction followed by a live outdoor event at the Windmill House in Chino Valley. The hybrid event was wonderfully successful with over $107,000 in profits.

It was the perfect day and setting for the live outdoor event! A sunny, warm, early fall day greeted the 110 attendees who gathered first on the spacious patio for appetizers and beverages before moving to a grassy venue surrounded by verdant trees adjacent to a lake for the live auction.

Auctioneer Jacy Lee led the briskly paced live auction and bidding was enthusiastic and robust, both by attendees and secret bidders assigned to handle proxy bids from the on-line auction. Heartfelt stories were shared and generous donors and sponsors matched funds for the two “Nurture Our Juniper” direct support offerings.

The all-outdoor format was widely lauded with laughter and gleeful greetings setting an especially inviting tone for the afternoon.

Magnanimous donors, generous sponsors, engaged bidders, strong raffle sales, and matching gifts combined to assure that the Highlands Center’s youth educational programs, including scholarships for youth participants, are well funded.

Thank you all for supporting our hybrid auction and positively impacting the youth touched by the Highlands Center for Natural History. We are grateful beyond words!

2020 Wander the Wild: A Triumph!


As you know, the Highlands Center’s 12th Annual Wander the Wild Auction was, for the first time, an on-line silent auction.  Absent the boisterous and enthusiastic bidding at live auctions of the past, we are thrilled to report that the auction profit was $78,025.45!

Generous donors, magnanimous sponsors, engaged bidders, strong raffle sales, and an anonymous matching gift combined to assure that the Highlands Center’s youth educational programs, including scholarships for youth participants, are well funded.

While this time of social distancing and mask wearing prevents high-fives and hugs, we guarantee you that our smiles are very real and extend to our grateful hearts.

Thank you all for supporting our silent auction and the youth touched by the Highlands Center for Natural history.  We are grateful beyond words!

Looking forward to seeing you at the Center soon!  The trails and Discovery Gardens are open and educational and entertaining programs have returned.  Check out happenings at

With gratitude,

Lesley & the Wander the Wild Team


2019 Wander the Wild: Another Success!

Our 2019 Wander the Wild was another resounding success with smiling and engaged attendees enjoying the gorgeous setting and the 46 fantasticly diverse auction packages offered in the live auction. As anticipated, the international travel packages prompted the most vigorous bidding and raised the most for our youth programs!  These included two 1-week stays for either 6 or 8 to revel in a Pacific Coast resort in Nicaragua,  an amazing Photo safari for 2 to Zululand in South Africa, and a delightful week in a Tuscan Villa in Manciano for 4.  Local experiences had robust bidding too!  Beyond the international packages, three auction packages netted the most proceeds:  a one-week stay for 2 in a Luxury Scottsdale Condo at the Westland Kieran Villas, a Tastes of the Southwest Dinner for 8, and a 2 night stay at Brenda’s Place at the Painted Lady Vineyard in Skull Valley.
Sincere thanks to all who attended for your generosity in support of the Highlands Center’s youth programs.  


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