Center for Wildlife celebrates groundbreaking
CAPE NEDDICK, Maine — Wind, rain and cold couldn’t stop the Center for Wildlife from celebrating the recent soft ground breaking of its new home.
Staff, board members, leadership donors, architects, engineers and general contractors put shovels in the ground April 27, marking the start of the 10-month anticipated construction timeline for the new facility and campus. For more than 30 years the center has been nestled at the base of Mount Agamenticus, and in 1995 it moved from a trailer to a donated ranch house. In that time, demand for its has increased exponentially.
“In 1995, we treated about 500 patients, and had no formal internship, environmental education, or research programming,” said Executive Director Kristen Lamb. “This past year, we treated 2,400 injured wild animals, hosted 30 interns and apprentices from across the country and presented 375 environmental education programs in the community. And demand keeps going up.”
Since 2014, the center has been working to meet demand and establish itself as a leader in conservation medicine and environmental education by laying the groundwork for a capital campaign. In 2016, through a mini-campaign it purchased 8.5 acres adjacent its property that abuts the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region’s 16,000 acres of conservation land. Partnering with McHenry Architecture, Jewett Construction and Ambit Engineering it created plans for a state of the art wildlife clinic and nature center with an indoor auditorium, additional classroom space and intern housing.
“We recently came together for our next three- to five-year strategic plan and visioning,” Lamb said. “This time, we were so excited that we will no longer be held back by space, and the sky is the limit. Our new campus will be a place where community members can slow down and connect with wildlife and learn about how to steward the land in their own towns and back yards.”
Features like bird safe glass, rainwater collection gardens, solar, turtle-safety zones and a five-year reforestation plan is hoped to serve as inspiration for living in harmony with the environment, Lamb said.
Kennebunk Savings recently backed the center’s vision with a commitment to a $2 million, five-year interest free construction loan to the organization.
“The generous partnership with Kennebunk Savings means that anyone that has fallen in love with our work in the past 33 years now has the ability to make a more meaningful gift over five years if that helps to value our work at a larger level than a one-time gift,” Lamb said.
With a new gift of $250,000 from a York resident, the center has raised more than $2.8 million toward its $4.5 million project through early and lead gifts, and is now at a critical juncture. Due to the amount of ledge on the property, the center faces more than $1 million in expenses in just the first few months of the project. It is just shy of its $3 million goal, which will kick off the campaign’s public phase. It is asking for those interested in joining the campaign with a major gift amount of $5,000 to $250,000 to email Alicia at [email protected] or call (207) 361-1400 ext. 107. Donations can also be made at https://cfwcapitalcampaign.causevox.com, which showcases testimonials from others and a blog with photo and video updates from the center and construction.
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