by CYNTHIA KMETT
Local Boy Scout Wyatt Lucas, Troop 1036 is raising money to assist the Stage Nature Center in caring for the five live owls that became permanent residents of the nature center in February 2018.
The owls consist of three different species: two Eastern Screech Owls, two Barred Owls, and one Great-Horned Owl named Autumn. These incredible owls are in need of a permanent “Owl House” that would protect them from other predators and allow the public to view them daily.
The majority of the funds raised by Wyatt will go towards the construction of the owl house. Wyatt will also assist in the construction of the structure as part of his service project.
The Troy student, just 15, is eager to see a protective enclosure for the owls. His family is avid fans of Stage Nature Center and Wyatt wanted to do something to help.
Not yet a construction pro, he turned to Will White, retired Royal Oak Fire Chief and co-owner of Uncle Luke’s Feed Store on Livernois, for advice. They’re exploring which materials will provide the best protection for the owls and still let the public enjoy watching them.
Wyatt is collecting returnable bottle and can donations in support of the owls. Wyatt has also launched a Facebook fundraiser to collect monetary donations. His goal is to raise $10,000 through general fundraising and the bottle drive.
Can and bottle drive drop off dates are Saturdays, April 14th and 21st, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Drop off is located at 5612 Fawn Court, off Northfield Parkway in Forestview subdivision. Please drop off only “returnable” bottles and cans. Wyatt has offered to pick up bottles from donors if necessary.
Please see the fundraiser on Facebook by searching on “Wyatt Lucas” (look for the owl pic!) or email Wyatt directly at email@example.com.
When asked about the fundraiser, Christina Funk, Assistant Naturalist at the Stage Nature Center said, “We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a passionate and driven young man like Wyatt. Wyatt’s excitement about helping us provide a permanent home for the owls and his love for the Stage Nature Center is encouraging for the future of the environment.”
All five owls that are now under the care of the Troy Nature Society and Stage Nature Center, are non-releasable to the wild due to injuries and illness that occurred while they lived in the wild. They were given to OBC from wildlife rehabilitators and other organizations when it was determined that they could not be returned to the wild. Most of them have been educational ambassadors for OBC for five years or more. As such, these owls are already trained to participate in nature-related programs at Stage Nature Center once they go through a brief adjustment period at their new home.
Carla Reeb, Executive Director of the Troy Nature Society said, “We are all very impressed with Wyatt and the leadership he is showing in this fundraising initiative. Young men like him are a wonderful example of making a difference in your own community.”
In addition to donations, the Stage Nature Center is actively recruiting volunteers to help with the care of the owls, along with the other animals that live at the Stage Nature Center. All interested parties should directly contact Christina Funk, Assistant Naturalist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsorship opportunities to directly benefit the owls have also been established. Currently, the Stage Nature Center is accepting Gold sponsorships at $500 per year, Silver sponsorships at $250 per year, Bronze sponsorships at $100 per year and Community Supporter sponsorships under $100 per year. Watch the SNC website and the SNC Facebook page for details and sponsorship application information by mid-March or early April.
For further information on this nonprofit organization, programs or events, visit stagenaturecenter.org or call (248) 688-9703.