Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Liberty Wildlife scored two grand slams this past week. First, another Wishes for Wildlife is in the history books, and it was a great success. Each year has a different flavor, and this one seemed to satisfy aplenty. Thanks to all of you who helped make it bountiful. It couldn’t happen with our the hard work of the Wildlife Guardians led this year by Benefit Chair, Sharon Sneva, with Peggy Cole in the background and all of the other dedicated folks who worked feverishly all year to pull it off. Thanks to all of the donors who made the auctions, live and silent, fun and lucrative. And, thanks to all of the guests who turned out to fill in the blanks. Great event!!!
And then, what we have been waiting for has happened. We found out officially on Monday that we were awarded our LEED certification and YES, IT IS AT THE PLATINUM LEVEL.
For those of you who are not into the Green Building initiative this may not sound all that exciting, but it is…trust me. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This is a very popular and respected world-wide “green” building certification awarded by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council. It was developed as a system to rank design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings.
For an environmentally conscious organization like Liberty Wildlife, this is huge. It confirms us as environmentally responsible using resources efficiently, being aware of the impact of the building and the use of it as it impacts the people within, the wildlife around, and the supporting habitat for all. It means we walk our talk!
Some of the aspects that the group looks at are the following: Sustainable Sites (25 out of 26 points awarded), Water Efficiency (6 out of 10 awarded), Energy and Atmosphere (33 out of 35 awarded), Materials and Resources (4 out of 14 awarded), Indoor Environmental Quality (11 out of 15 awarded), Innovation in Design ( 6 out of 6 awarded), and Regional Priority Credits (4 out of 4 awarded). We scored a total of 89 points…80 is required to reach Platinum.
Thanks to our environmentally conscious and very creative architects, Phil Weddle and Jeff DeHaven, we have a building that makes a statement about our mission allowing us to do the job touted by our mission to “nurture the nature of Arizona”. This platinum LEED building will teach about sustainability by its very existence. We intend to stretch that lesson at every opportunity along the way.
And one last note as we discuss scoring…we are at least 780 animals assisted this year ahead of the same time last year. On all three accords, we must be doing it right!
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for this year is now at 3236.
As Megan said in H3 above, Wishes for Wildlife 2017 was a success and it was apparent everyone had a fun evening. Meanwhile, back at 2600 E Elwood, animals were arriving constantly, bringing the total to the staggering number it is today. From baby birds of all species to more baby cottontails to juvenile javelinas, our volunteers are all doing their best to keep up with the continuing deluge of animals needing help. But hey, that’s what we do! And in our new home, we do it better than ever…
In our efforts to maintain a “green” presence on the landscape, we want to keep the water in the wetlands pond as clean as possible without the use of chemicals. In this effort, we have introduced some fish and minnows into the water which will, we hope, eat algae and mosquito larvae if they develop.
The influx of baby hummingbirds is slowing somewhat, but still people bring in tiny babies that have fallen victim to windstorms and tree trimming this spring. These two looked like dual antennae as they probed the air waiting to be fed by mom – or a Liberty volunteer!
We are staring to see the next large group of hatchlings arrive – kestrels! These three came in a week ago last Sunday when their entire nest blew down from it’s position. The infants were all reasonably healthy and will join several more who came in prior to or just after they did. In a few weeks, there will be dozens of these little falcons in with foster parents on the rehab side.
Not a common arrival but very cute is this orphan baby black-necked stilt. Not unlike other wading shore birds (such as killdeer), juvenile stilts look a lot like they will appear as adults, only much smaller. Precocial young are some of the cutest babies around.
Several Harris’ hawks are now inhabiting the 180 ft. flight enclosure, flying back and forth and around a few simulated power poles set up by SRP. They are also monitored by video cameras set to record the interactions of birds like these and the equipment that tends to be problematic in the wild. It is hoped that by watching larger birds operate around these poles and equipment, the power companies will be better able to come up with new and improved designs that will minimize the number of injuries incurred by hawks, owls, and eagles landing on the equipment transmitting electricity to our homes.
A very young javelina was brought in recently by someone who thought he might have been clipped by a car. The little peccary was very tired, very hungry, and very aggressive when it came to being handled. He got an initial exam by Tim who was working Med Services, assisted by Denise and myself (only all I did was try to hold him still for the exam!) Shortly thereafter, he was sent to SWW for further rehabilitation.
And while we’re on the subject of mammals at Liberty, that same afternoon this adorable bobcat cub was brought in to us. It’s always unfortunate when a young animal of any species, especially a wild one like the bobcat, becomes separated from it’s mother sooner than Nature intended. This one was lucky enough to be found and brought to our facility for care.
Wishes for Wildlife 2017
As always, Wishes for Wildlife is a great evening for all who attend. The event, chaired by Sharon Sneva, was attended by many Liberty friends and benefactors, including Honorary Chairperson Senator John McCain and his wife Cindy. Senator McCain was presented a canvas print commemorating his attendance and his support for Liberty Wildlife. SRP also was presented a print as the winners of the Liberty Wildlife Legacy Award for 2017. Our thanks to them, and to Sharon who did a marvelous job once again!