by Ciera Choate
INDIAN TRAIL – After spending more than two years in a rented turkey barn, the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is finally home.
The group, which rescues and rehabilitates birds and waterfowl, moved into its new 11-acre location on Poplin Road in Indian Trail. The land and house were purchased with the help of an anonymous donation, which will allow the rescue the space it needs to treat the growing number of injured and abandoned wildlife volunteers see.
“I’m most excited about the chance to build a rescue complex that meets the needs of our birds, encourages their recovery and allows for my dream of having educational programs for the public,” Jennifer Gordon, rescue director, said. “It’s always been my dream to have a permanent home for our rescue and through the generous donation from one of our supporters, this dream is now coming true.”
On the new property there are three man-made ponds, and the rescue plans to add more aviaries and sheltered areas in the future to give the birds somewhere to cool off and keep warm as the seasons change.
“The ponds were the first thing that we needed in order to move the birds over there,” Sandi Bush, a group volunteer, said. Before moving into the new location the rescue built the three ponds, one with an island. Their work with water birds made the addition of the ponds a necessity because their old location did not have the space needed for the birds to get the best recovery. According to Bush the ponds are “the perfect size for the birds” at the rescue. Currently, the rescue houses about 450 birds. This new location has the capacity to hold more than 1,000 at one time.
“We need to build some shelters out there for them and this fall we need to add some trees and bushes to give them extra shelter,” Bush said.
The house currently on the property will be used as a hospital for injured birds. They hope to eventually add onto the house creating a larger hospital area.
Gordon began Carolina Waterfowl Rescue out of her home about eight years ago. With the addition of different volunteer homes the rescue grew into what it is today.
“I saw a need for this type of organization in our area, and it grew rapidly over the years. We now help more than 2,000 birds each year,” she said.
The center specializes in water birds like ducks, geese and swans but Gordon is licensed to take in every kind of wildlife. Occasionally the rescue will take in raptors, reptiles, songbirds or other kinds of wildlife until they can be transferred to a location that specializes in their care.
Although the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue now has a permanent location, they still need more donations and volunteers to make the most of their new facility and extend their program.
“I appreciate the opportunity to share my dream with the public,” Gordon said. “We still need volunteers, money to pay for supplies and individuals and companies to donate supplies and labor to build shelters, fences, install landscaping and work on projects related to fixing the house that is on the property so that we can better use it for the benefit of our animals.”
Find more information on the group at its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cwrescue.