In 2018 I volunteered to help build "something" for the Nature Center.
An owl house? Sure I can build that, no problem.
A little bigger than what I expected.
The Raptor House is officially open to the public.
The Nature Center has something for everyone. Peaceful trails, free roaming wildlife and a Raptor House.
I am humbled to have my name on the plaque of the Raptor House.
In 2018 I was walking the trails of the Nature Center, something my family has done since I was little. I decided I wanted to build "something" for them, I was thinking maybe a bench. That day I met Christina Funk, the Assistant Naturalist. She explained they were taking in 5 displaced owls from another facility that was closing. Due to previous injuries the owls cannot be returned to the wild. They are otherwise healthy; they have become ambassadors for wildlife conservation. The Nature Center eager to take them in, but had no place to house them. She asked if I could build a house for them. I have seen owl houses along the trails, it is basically a box in a tree. I said, "sure no problem". She asked if I knew a builder and suggested we have a meeting a week later. While I know a builder, I htought ot myself, it is a box, I can easily build a simple box. But I said sure we can have a meeting. At the meeting Christina brought out pictures of what they had in mind. That is when it became apparent, we had envisioned two VASTLY different things.
I was a bit speechless at first, looking at pictures of a building the size of a 2 car garage. But I agreed to try. I immediately started collecting bottles, I mean A LOT of bottles, I designed, and sold t-shirts (they sold all over the US and even France, Spain, Germany, England, New Zealand, and Mexico, and to someone in the Air Force!
Christina and I went on speaking engagements. With the help of the community, by the end of the summer I had raised more than $14,000. It was a great start, but not enough. The Nature Center continued their efforts to raise money. In the end many people stepped up and donated. It took 3 years from that first meeting, but the Raptor House officially opened this June. You have got to come see it and the incredible owls inside. Bring the whole family!
The Nature Center has graciously agreed to be the location for the Chili Cook Off. The event will raise funds for my Hockey Mentor project.
Sam is the star of the show. A female Barred owl about 8 years old. Was taken in as an orphaned nestling with injuries to her wing and back.
Autumn is a female Great Horned owl. She was taken in an adult due to an injury to her wing.
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Is an Eastern Screech owl, he is about years old. As you can see he has an eye injury that would make him vulnerable in the wild.
Is a male Eastern Screech owl. It is unkown how old he is.
He was taken in as adult due to a shoulder injury.
You have heard of Mother of Dragons, well Christina is the Mother of Owls.She has bonded with the owls and they with her. She knows everything about them.
Check out the pictures from the Chili Cook Off
Stay tuned for a date for the HOCKEY DAY.