At Vermont Woods Studios we all have a special place in our hearts for animals. From our own cats, dogs, snakes and other pets, to the familiar faces of chipmunks, squirrels and birds that share our backyards to the exotic and elusive endangered species we read about or catch a glimpse of in Vermont's forests.
So today on National Wildlife Day we'll be thinking about our furry, slimy, feathered and scaley friends and remembering that part of our mission is to conserve forest habitat for them. In fact, one of the statistics that urged me to form Vermont Woods Studios is that half of the world's animal species live in the rainforest which is disappearing at an alarming rate-- we're losing over 100 rainforest species every day. It's something we're trying to help change by raising awareness about where your furniture comes from.
Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS), a non-profit located in Quechee. VINS aims to "motivate individuals and communities to care for the environment though education, research and aviation wildlife rehabilitation." VINS invites guests of all ages to visit and learn about the most recent environmental science information. More than 40,000 people through out New England go to VINS for environmental education programs.
While visiting VINS, guests will see some of New England's most interesting avian wildlife. Humans head to the doctors when we are sick, wild animals seek professional care at VINS. The Nature Center at VINS has licensed wildlife rehabilitators who heal wildlife and raise the orphaned. The ultimate goal is to return the wildlife back to their natural homes; however, if they do not feel that an animal can safely be returned, the animal will stay with VINS.
Because VINS is a non-profit they rely on the help of the general public to keep their facilities running. They have created an "adopt a raptor" program as a fun way for people to help fund their rehabilitation program. Vermont Woods Studios has participated in this program by adopting a Gray Phase Eastern Screech Owl, whom we have named Woody. Woody's age is unknown; however, it arrived at VINS in May of 2004 because of a right shoulder injury caused by a collision with a vehicle. In the VINS education programs, they teach visitors that they do not name the owls to stress the fact that they are not pets, they are wild animals. We have decided that because we have only symbolically adopted Woody, that it is okay to have named it (we don't know Woody's sex). By adoption Woody, we helped provide food and specialized care.
The Adopt a Raptor Program is a fun way to support VINS and the raptors they care for. It is also a great, feel good gift for an animal lover like us!