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Education. Conservation. Animal Welfare.
NOVA Wild opened its doors in early 2023, with a whole new vision for Reston’s local zoo. The entire NOVA Wild team is committed to building a healthy environment for the animals that live here, along with a fun, impactful, educational experience for families
and children of all ages.
Why Zoos Matter
Conservation & Vanishing Wilderness
The earth has lost more than a billion acres of forest since 1990 according to National Geographic—an area of land that is 23% larger than the nation of India.
Our planet has lost one-third of its total wilderness since the end of the last Ice Age, and we’re leaving less and less space for wildlife to survive, much less thrive.
Ethical zoos are essential for educating the public, encouraging conservation, and building respect for the web of life that binds us all. They also provide a refuge for the animals that share the planet with us, including many that predate our species by millions of years.
Meet the Founder
Nova Wild began as a planned non-profit venture of a former Reston resident who jumped at the chance to revitalize this beloved local gem.
Tara Campbell Lussier is an entrepreneur and Realtor® who was raised in Reston, VA. She attended nearby Armstrong Elementary and spent her weekends playing soccer at the zoo’s neighbor, Baron Cameron Park. As a professional she has built several successful women-owned businesses based on inclusivity, innovation, and forward-thinking principles. Her prior ventures have been featured in the Washington Business Journal as a “Startup to Watch”, Huffington Post, WTOP 103.5, and named a Loudoun 40 Under 40 Honoree. Tara is first and foremost a mother to four children who are all eager to explore and enjoy the zoo just as she did as a child.
When she learned that the property once known as the Reston Zoo was available she assembled a team of zoo industry thought-leaders with ethics, education, and animal welfare at their core.
Tara and her team have made a number of physical upgrades to the zoo, creating a better experience for everyone (including the wildlife). And they have a long list of improvements planned for the coming year. They intend for the zoo to serve as a family-friendly community wildlife and adventure park for all. They are just getting started.
The entire NOVA Wild team is committed to building a healthy environment for the animals under their care, along with an impactful, fun, educational experience for families and children of all ages that visit NOVA Wild. Our approach is to provide animal welfare educational training for our staff to create an environment that has animal welfare at its core. We ensure optimal welfare outcomes for our animals by empowering our staff to identify welfare challenges and to implement continuous improvement. We will create innovative approaches to offering positive welfare opportunities through an understanding of each animal’s unique characteristics, behaviors, and adaptations.
As seen on…
A Local Treasure. Revitalized!
NOVA Wild is a non-profit organization that is revitalizing Reston’s local zoo. We opened our doors in early 2023, and everything is changing.
Our team of experts and veterinarians takes a science-based approach to wildlife care, giving the animals at NOVA Wild every opportunity to thrive.
Human beings have a deep connection to nature. NOVA Wild offers fun, interactive opportunities to learn about different animal species from around the world.
The earth’s wilderness is facing startling threats. NOVA Wild is a non-profit zoo that financially supports international conservation efforts like WorthWild Africa.