Wild Places is an organization founded by artist ZoƩ Strecker to connect people with wilderness through an array of creative projects.


Nominate Pine Mountain as a globally recognized living treasure

Kentucky contains the second most biologically diverse temperate forest in the world along Pine Mountain in the southeastern part of the state. One of our goals is to nominate the entire mountain for a World Heritage Site designation through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) so that it can receive international legal protection and financial support for restoration and management. Although this is a grand goal, tangible creative productions offer an exciting and engaging way to take the first steps towards that goal and, in any case, leading people to imagine a different future for Kentucky.

We have partnered with the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust and the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission and others to pursue this designation.


Cultivate an understanding of wilderness as essential to humanity

Creative productions, imaginative events, intellectual debates, journalistic engagements, and fund-raisers can increase the general public’s attention to the value of wild places for our own survival.

Dealing with the crisis of global climate change in an effective, nimble way requires that we look to natural communities for answers. Stabilizing the world’s forests is one of the most practical steps we can take to absorb the excess carbon levels. Forests are complex and beautiful. They are living libraries of organisms in which we have found and will continue to find resources of vital importance to us like sources of medicinal cures for disease and information about balanced natural systems.



People find intense aesthetic pleasure in wild places. That sensory enjoyment is expanded by knowledge of and attention to the details of specific places. Our creative projects offer opportunities to lavish attention on wild places and to cultivate a sense of wonder. Experiencing the natural world and doing creative work in community is more fun and adds to our sense of pride, hope and mutual respect.