MEMBER FEATURE: a conversation with Kristen Lamb, Executive Director of the Center for Wildlife, and Emma Balina, Development Director of the Center for Wildlife
The Center for Wildlife provides a thriving hub for environmental stewardship, education, and advocacy in New England.
The Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, Maine started out in 1986 as a shelter for injured and orphaned wild animals. The center received about 100 wild animals a week in its first year and provided clinical care for many of these animals with successful rehabilitation back into their natural habitats. In 1991 the Center for Wildlife started to take preventative measures and launched a public education program as staff recognized that the majority of animals they received were arriving to them with diseases and injuries caused by humans.
Now the center treats 190 species of local birds, small mammals, and reptiles, approximately 2,200 wild animals a year, coming from Maine to Massachusetts and spanning a 100-mile radius out from Cape Neddick, Maine. It offers 350 education programs serving learners aged 2 to 92 with the hopes that greater environmental education and knowledge about what people can do and why they should care will inspire greater stewardship of our natural world. The center also offers numerous community volunteer and internship opportunities for those wishing to learn more and be more involved.
"And for interns and staff at the Center for Wildlife," says Kristen Lamb, Executive Director of the Center for Wildlife, "we are very committed to wellness. Burnout and compassion fatigue is common in our line of work, so it's important for us to really take care of our employees with competitive benefits packages and by fostering a positive work culture." The center also regularly brings in guest speakers on interesting topics like local herbalism and offers employees membership to a local museum or park of their choosing.
Operating out of just a 1,200 square foot house, the Center for Wildlife provides an impressive array of programs, services, and learning opportunities to visitors and employees alike. But with the pressure of rapid growth and development in the region, the center is investing in a capital campaign so that it will be able respond to the exponentially increasing need for its services and programs due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Slated to be completed in 2019, their new campus will link up 16,000 acres of conservation land and include a facility that runs completely on solar power. The layout will take into consideration
the natural slope of the land and include pollinator gardens, vernal pools, and rain water collection landscaping. Everything from the downward facing LED lights to decrease light pollution and its effects on wildlife will be built keeping the natural world in mind.
"We joined NHBSR," remarks Kristen, "Because we want to be a part of the conversation in leading the charge in environmental sustainability. We're a nonprofit, boots on the ground organization, and we want to find ways to collaborate and share resources and knowledge to be able to have a greater overall community impact." There are a number of projects that the center has been able to undertake because of partnerships with like-minded businesses, including the capital campaign, which is a partnership with NHBSR member company Jewett Construction.
"We want people to know that we're here," says Emma Balina, Development Director of the Center for Wildlife, "We love that people visit us and bring their families. There are so many ways for people to get involved, from individuals to businesses, and we really want to foster and promote those meaningful partnerships."
Concept art for the Center for Wildlife's new campus coming in 2019
You can reach out to Emma at email@example.com or (207) 361-1400 x107 to find out more about the Center for Wildlife and their capital campaign, sustainability efforts, and education programs.