White Oak History

For decades, White Oak has been a leading global organization for conservation of threatened and endangered species. Today’s White Oak, a one-of-a-kind global conservation organization with some of the world’s most innovative conservation programs to protect endangered wildlife and habitats, was established in 2013.

First records of the property date all the way back to 1768, but it was in 1982 when philanthropist Howard Gilman initiated a significant program for the conservation and propagation of threatened and endangered species at White Oak. Starting in 1993, The Howard Gilman Foundation hosted a variety of national and international conferences and seminars at White Oak directly related to its three fields of interest: conservation and the environment, arts and culture and public policy.

Then, Mark and Kimbra Walter purchased White Oak. The Walters have developed the innovative, unique conservation space seen at White Oak today, and their work in conservation strategies has yielded success with some of the most endangered species in the world, including rhinos, okapi, Florida panthers and cranes. White Oak’s conservation programs have a global impact through their award-winning animal care programs, as well as White Oak’s training and education programs are inspiring and teaching the next generation of conservationists. Today, we are working to ensure that White Oak continues to be a global leader in providing care for a wide variety of endangered and threatened species and wild places.