Conservation attractions

Cast your vote for conservation

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife again
nominated for America’s Best Aquarium by USA TODAY

Springfield, Mo. – Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium (WOW) in Springfield, Missouri, has once again been nominated by USA TODAY for the honor of “America’s Best Aquarium.” This is the fifth year Wonders of Wildlife has been nominated, having won the prestigious Readers’ Choice Award a record four times, as well as earning “America’s Best New Attraction” in its grand opening year of 2017. Fans are encouraged to vote once per day by visiting until voting ends at 11 a.m. CST on March 6, 2023.

“We are honored that Wonders of Wildlife has been nominated again for ‘America’s Best Aquarium’,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “This is another great opportunity to spread awareness of our conservation efforts and to connect people of all ages with the great outdoors. We’re grateful for all our visitors and members and for every one of our passionate volunteers, team members and all our conservation partners who help us inspire future conservationists. Your vote for Wonders of Wildlife is a vote for conservation!”

Partnering with respected museum collections and other conservation supporters, Wonders of Wildlife continues to expand its exhibits to showcase and raise awareness of conservation efforts everywhere. Galleries featuring exhibits from the American Museum of Fly Fishing, the International Game Fish Association’s Hall of Fame, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and the Boone and Crockett Club educate visitors about the role of sportsmen and women in conservation.

WOW’s newest exhibit hall, Nature’s Best, features beautiful, award-winning photography from the Windland Smith Rice International Awards. The 10,000-square-foot gallery space transports guests around the world and inspires people of all ages to enjoy and love the great outdoors.

With 350,000 square feet and more than 1.5 miles of trails that feature 800-plus species, Wonders of Wildlife takes visitors on a journey through immersive exhibits that entertain and educate while sharing the story of America’s most significant conservationists throughout history and today. It is the only national aquarium where hunters and anglers and all of those who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water are celebrated.

Newly accredited AZA facility

Wonders of Wildlife received accreditation in 2022 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums following a lengthy application process and on-site inspections. With fewer than 300 facilities nationwide touting this recognition, WOW joins an elite collection of zoos and aquariums dedicated to the highest standards of conservation, animal welfare and education.

The AZA team conducted its facility inspection at Wonders of Wildlife in June 2022. A panel of 16 experts in zoological and aquarium operations, animal welfare and veterinary medicine voted to accredit the award-winning attraction. Further solidifying the museum and aquarium’s reputation as a leader in wildlife conservation, management, and education.

Midwest’s only sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation, and release facility

For the third year, Wonders of Wildlife has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Turtles Fly Too to provide critical care for 10 cold-stunned loggerhead sea turtles before returning them to their natural habitat. WOW has rehabilitated 30 sea turtles so far and will continue to open its doors as the only sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation, and release facility in the Midwest.

Expanding educational opportunities

Continuing its priority to connect people of all ages to the great outdoors and inspire future conservationists, Wonders of Wildlife is expanding its youth educational efforts by partnering with the U.S. Forest Service. Since its opening, WOW has reached 1.5 million kids through its virtual and on-site education programs. Collaborating with Agents of Discovery and the U.S. Forest Service, WOW is committed to educating the next generation worldwide on the importance of conservation and to promote the wise use and respect of our land, air, water, and wildlife.

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About Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium 
Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium consists of a 1.5-million-gallon Aquarium Adventure showcasing 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, and immersive Wildlife Galleries that bring visitors eye-to-eye with the greatest collection of record-setting game animals ever assembled. Created by noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, the 350,000- square-foot experience celebrates those who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water. Located next to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri the campus is a centerpiece of America’s Conservation Capital in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. WOW has been voted “Best New Attraction” in 2017 and “America’s Best Aquarium” in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022 by the readers of USA TODAY and received its AZA accreditation in 2022. For more information, visit

Contact: | 417-230-7180