OAKEN ACRES OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
We have some HUGE news for our supporters and communities. 3M Corporation has a "giving" component and, in our case, there is one grant specifically focused on the environment. It's called the 3M ECO Grant. An organization must be invited to apply for this grant. A longtime supporter who works for 3M in DeKalb, Kim Kitchen, introduced Oaken Acres to Human Resources Manager Nora Vandeploeg. Nora came out to Oaken Acres earlier this year and our DO Christy Gerbitz showed her around and explained what we do. Based on her visit, Oaken Acres was asked to apply for one of 3Ms smaller grants and we did just that. We were awarded $2,500 to help with the costs incurred to operate our Ambassador Birds educational program. Acceptance for that grant application led to the opportunity to apply for the larger 3M ECO Grant.
According to 3M, "3M Eco Grant recipients are providing environmental programs that help students connect science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education with the world around them. The grant recipients are nature and environmental learning centers located in communities near a 3M facility."
Our "OUTDOOR CLASSROOM" will be dedicated to conservation of habitats and species, with special interest this first year on honeybees and monarch butterflies.
Oaken Acres will be receiving the check for this grant on December 1, 2014, at 3M headquarters in DeKalb. Once we have the check in the bank, we will have a more comprehensive explanation of what this grant will mean to Oaken Acres and our communities.
WATCH THIS SPACE!!!
Congrats and huge thank you's to all our donors and fundraisers for two VERY SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISERS!
**Babies Gone Wild: Start Seeing Eagles!** raised $19,000!
**Give Local DeKalb County** raised $23,000!
**Many THANKS TO COMED for their $5,000 donation towards the new Eagle Enclosure!
Here's a drawing of the new EAGLE ENCLOSURE you all have made possible!
May 6, 2014
Oaken Acres Wildlife Center Needs Volunteers
Working with orphaned wildlife takes a special person. And Oaken Acres Wildlife Center in rural Sycamore is looking for some of those special people for the 2015 “baby season.”
Baby season at Oaken Acres means the time between May 1 and August 1 when it receives about 85% of all the animals it cares for each year. This busy time is when most of the wild babies are born and sometimes orphaned due to mothers being hit by cars or trapped in homes and not reunited with their babies, nests disturbed by storms, pets and children, and numerous other tragedies that befall them.
Most volunteers will have hands-on opportunities that include feeding, cleaning, and food preparation. Non-animal opportunities, such as reception and phone answering, will also be available to handle hundreds of phone calls that Oaken Acres receives each season about orphans and nuisance wild animals.
By law, anyone working with wildlife must be at least 18 years of age. This is not for the faint of heart. Some animals come in badly injured and some animals must be euthanized due to the extent of their injuries or the type of disease they have contracted. But nearly two-thirds of the wild animals received at Oaken Acres will be successfully released, most before September.
If you are interested in being considered for a volunteer position, email Director of Operations Christy Gerbitz at email@example.com with your name, phone number, email address and your area of interest – mammal babies, songbirds, office, construction and landscaping, or fundraising. If you want to know more about Oaken Acres, please continue to explore our website – www.oakenacres.org – and get acquainted.
Looking forward to SPRING 2015
Spring Babies at Oaken Acres Wildlife Center
It’s that time again when baby wild animals and people come into contact with one another. From owlets and squirrels in early spring, followed by raccoons, opossums, waterfowl and songbirds, the transition from winter to summer brings the busiest season for wildlife and for Oaken Acres Wildlife Center in rural Sycamore, Illinois.
First, unless an animal is obviously injured or orphaned, leave it alone until you get advice from a wildlife professional. There is a page on the Oaken Acres website that details what to do when you find a wild animal that may be in need of help.
Second, be certain it needs to rescued BEFORE picking it up. While most wild mothers do accept their babies back after being touched by people, it’s always better for them to stay in the wild if at all possible. An Oaken Acres staff member can advise you on the proper method of capture and transportation IF the animal needs to be rescued.
Third, until our baby season is in full swing, an appointment is necessary for bringing us an animal. After May 1, Oaken Acres will accept injured or orphaned wildlife from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fourth, please keep your cat(s) indoors especially during the spring when wild babies are most vulnerable. The most recent reputable study of cat predation on wildlife paints a bleak and cruel picture of the outcome for millions of wild animals – mostly babies – that are attacked by owned cats. The injuries are usually too severe for the wild babies to survive and they suffer terribly at the paws of roaming cats.
Fifth, if you have a problem with a nuisance wild animal – raccoon or squirrel nesting in your attic, foxes or coyotes being more visible during the warmer months, birds building nests in house vents or soffits – call Oaken Acres for a humane solution to these problems. Almost all nuisance wildlife agencies kill any animals they has been hired to remove. Methods that are legal for “dispatching” these animals include clubbing, drowning and suffocating. Most people, once they are made aware of this, will not resort to lethal methods. While humane methods may take a bit longer and require some accommodations, they’re usually almost no cost to the homeowner and they keep wild families together without the need for any of them to die.
Lastly, do not attempt to raise a wild orphan on your own. First, it’s illegal for anyone to possess a wild animal without the proper permits from state and/or federal agencies. Most importantly, wild animals are not like domestic pets. Each species needs specific care and most people are not equipped or able to provide the proper care to keep them alive, let alone raise them to be successfully released into the wild. This is not a good experience for your children since, if you try to do this, it will usually end with your children in tears when the tiny baby dies due to improper care. Oaken Acres has been raising orphaned wildlife for almost 30 years and releases most of its patients back to the wild where they belong.
To learn more about wildlife and Oaken Acres, please visit our website – www.oakenacres.org – and get acquainted. Make sure to click on the “I’ve found a baby animal” at the bottom of the page. If you need to bring us a wild animal, please call 815.895.9666.
Donating to Oaken Acres is easy. On our website, just click on the “DONATE” button or a check can be mailed to Oaken Acres at 12140 Aldrich Road, Sycamore, IL, 60178.