Sunday, June 9, 2013

Raising Little Heroes: Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

When I woke up this morning I was really, really excited because I'd been looking forward to our Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (Longmont, CO) event for about 6 months and today was the day we were able to finally get together and enjoy it.  When I initially contacted the center back in December, the volunteer and outreach coordinator was immediately very helpful and excited about our group so she made it easy to set a date and envision what we would be doing on the day of the event (translation if you are me: "no stress").  On top of that, I knew that our RLH kids would be into it since it seems like every kid I meet is head over heels about animals.

The rehab center has many options for ways in which people can help, including a handful of great options for kids.  Any of these things can be done at any time by anyone so you don't have to have a group like ours to do it, and you don't have to make it an official event.  You or you and your kids can do these things on your own and deliver them to the center at any time, so if you are interested take a look at this link for ideas.

Our group took on the building of a few squirrel nest boxes and grass picking for the rabbits at the center.  I thought it would be a good pairing so that if the boxes were too involved for the younger kids, it would be easy enough to hand the little kiddos some buckets and let them go to town picking grass.  This combination proved successful as almost everyone there found a job to do and seemed to have fun doing it.

Leading up to the event, I worked along with fellow RLH moms Michele Novosad and Deanna Petersen to procure the materials for the boxes and hatch a game plan for the actual building of the boxes.  Thankfully, Michele is talented and knowledgeable in the carpentry department and was able to tell Deanna and I what we would need to actually ask for at the hardware stores and Deanna was brave enough to start getting our feet in doors around town.  After Deanna made initial contact with a few stores, I followed up and was lucky enough to walk into Home Depot here in Boulder (on Arapahoe).  The staff there could not have been more kind, friendly, helpful and generous with their time and made sure we got enough donated materials from their store to make 3 squirrel nest boxes.  I want to officially and publicly thank Derrick and Garrisen (store managers), Chuck (lumber department--Chuck spent so much time with us and never once gave me the impression that he was anything less than happy to help out), Pat (checkout--we hit a few snags but she too stuck with us happily until we got it figured out) and Aaron (helped us load the car.  With two small kids in tow, I can't tell you how grateful I was for that).

I then got the materials to Michele who prepped them by doing some of the things that were either impossible to do without an electrical outlet (we held the event at our adopted park) and/or too dangerous for the kids to do themselves.  Michele also built a prototype so participants would have an example to look to while working.  So thankful for your hard work, Michele thank you!

Today went as smoothly as I was expecting it to and the volunteers from the center who came to give a presentation were very kind and knowledgeable.  Thank you Mary, Amy and Jeff!  The kids all asked a lot of really sweet and thoughtful questions and then worked very hard on the projects.  The weather was perfect to boot so, all in all, an exceptional morning.  We built and decorated 3 boxes (4 counting Michele's prototype) and picked enough grass to feed about 5 rabbits for a whole day!

Thank you to all of the families who came this morning--it was so nice to see you all!

Birds nest

Showing us a Great Blue Heron wing

Passing the heron wing (and leg!) around

Owl wing

Raccoon skull

The kids decorated the boxes too!

Me and my peeps

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