Ecology is best defined as the branch of biology that deals with how organisms interact with each other and with their environment. An important part of ecology involves taking care of specific parts of the environment.
Caves and their ecosystems are considered by many scientists to be among the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. Caves are non-renewable resources that take many millions of years to form, and each delicate formation must be protected. Cave of the Winds Mountain Park takes this responsibility seriously, and expects their guests to take the preservation of caves seriously also. We ask that our guests remember to take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, and kill nothing but time. Never step on an insect in a cave, take so much as a rock, or think about trying to carve initials or anything into a rock. All of these actions may seem small, but they can have a huge and catastrophic effect on caves and their ecosystems over time.
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park leads the way with preservation of caves. We have created one of the strongest cave conservation and restoration groups in the nation. We work tirelessly to limit damage to caves through education. There are also procedures in place that limit impact, including visitor controls and requiring that visitors stay on very specific paths. Restoration in the caves is done with the utmost care, whether it is repairing broken speleothems or making caves look undisturbed.
Millions of years in the making, underground caves and their rock formations are a natural gift that we have been tasked with keeping safe for future generations. Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is proud to be a responsible part of the community, keeping these ecosystems intact and healthy.