Black Pine Animal Sanctuary to promote continuing education through partnership with Trine

January 12, 2021

ALBION, Ind. — Employees and volunteers at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary (BPAS), the only Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS)-accredited multi-species sanctuary in the Midwest, will enjoy a wider range of professional development and educational opportunities at Trine University as the result of a new relationship between the two organizations.

In addition, Trine will offer BPAS enhanced opportunities to recruit Trine students for internships, open positions and volunteer opportunities. Black Pine also will have the opportunity to share information regarding responsible animal care and access to a broader range of community activities with student organizations, athletics and exclusive Trine events.

Letrecia “Trish” Nichols, executive director for Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, said, "Black Pine is excited to partner with Trine University! A key pillar of our mission is education, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to offer further educational opportunities to our staff and volunteers. Trine's educational resources are a huge boost to a small agency such as Black Pine."

“Trine University is proud to partner with Black Pine Animal Sanctuary and assist in its vital work of rescuing exotic animals and educating the public about conservation and proper animal care,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine University president. “We look forward to helping Black Pine enhance the skills of its employees and volunteers as they assist the organization in carrying out its mission. We also look forward to continued partnerships through student opportunities, campus programs and university events.”

Through the partnership, Black Pine will be able to create customized courses, available online and on-site. Employees and volunteers also will be provided additional support in obtaining access to available educational grants and scholarships, reducing education expenses for the team at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary.

Additionally, BPAS employees and volunteers will receive added support to ensure those enrolled with Trine are utilizing all available academic and financial aid services. Black Pine employees and volunteers can take advantage of more than 45 courses using open education resources, eliminating textbook and materials costs, and can receive a free application for enrollment and free unofficial transfer credit evaluation.

Due to TrineOnline’s generous credit acceptance, Black Pine employees and volunteers will be eligible for up to 90 credits hours toward a bachelor's degree program, including their unique on-the-job training experience. This means fewer courses are needed to complete a degree; therefore, they have less financial impact, and graduation in as little as one year. In addition, students are given the opportunity to earn graduate credits while working on a bachelor's degree through TrineOnline’s combined degree programs.

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary was established to provide refuge to displaced, captive-raised exotic animals for the rest of their lives and to educate people about responsible animal care and conservation. Nestled on 18 acres in Northern Indiana, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary is the forever home to more than 100 captive raised exotic and wild animals. The sanctuary offers more than a half-mile of paved trails that meander through a wooded area with various habitats.

For more information on educational partnership opportunities with Trine University, visit

Black Pine
Black Pine

Volunteers at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary lead a tour for visitors (top) and prepare food for the animals (bottom). A new partnership between Black Pine and Trine University will provide professional development and educational opportunities for volunteers and employees at the sanctuary.

Last Updated: 01/12/2021

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