Waterfowl Rescue doing a bit of barn raising

When the weather is nice out, the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue group in Indian Trail doesn’t have too many worries about housing its animals. But with winter coming, a barn is badly needed.

INDIAN TRAIL – The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue in Indian Trail needs a new barn to house injured and abandoned ducks, geese, swans and other birds. So, a bit of fundraising is in order.

“We have a beautiful property just perfect for [the birds] but we don’t have nearly as much storage and housing as we did before,” said Jennifer Gordon, director of the rescue, in regard to storage space they used to have at their old, but smaller, facility.

The nonprofit has been in its new location for only two months, but it’s already apparent more shelters for birds and storage facilities for equipment is needed in preparation for winter. Many of the rescue’s supplies are being stored outside due to the lack of covered space, and predator-proof shelters are needed to house the birds.

“We are not picky,” Gordon said. “Our birds don’t care about how something looks, so we would be very grateful for used structures folks may no longer need, as long as they are in good repair.”

Most urgently needed are car port-type shelters, preferably with only two sides open. These can be easily modified to be predator-proof in order to house the birds at night. Ideally, the rescue could use two to three of these types of shelters, along with a 24-foot by 60-foot barn with overhang.

Rescue volunteer and representative Sandi Bush said $855 has been donated thus far, but the effort was just launched and the group hopes to see more donations in the coming weeks.

“We need indoor shelter for the birds that will be overwintering with us in case of bad weather,” Bush said. “Last winter the birds didn’t use the barn at our old location as the weather was relatively mild, but a snow or ice storm or very cold weather will require us to house the birds to protect them.”

Bush said having shelter also would protect the birds from heavy rain and windstorms, common in the Carolinas.

“Many of the abandoned and injured birds in our care come from Union County,” Bush said. “We hope to eventually be open to the public for educational tours, especially to help school-age children understand more about wild and domestic birds in our area. That type of effort is on our ‘to do’ list, but we need to get our structures in place and the property set up before we can do this.”

The rescue hopes local or regional companies will step in to help with donated structures. If not, all money donated toward the “Barn Fund” will be accumulated until the rescue has enough to purchase the structures themselves.

Companies or individuals donating $100 or more to the Barn Fund will be honored with their name and donation amount on a plaque on the structure, and companies and individuals donating $500 or more will be invited to the Barn Grand Opening.
So far one individual has donated $100 and one person has donated $500, Bush said.

“We have pictures and plans of the type of structure we want and we have some ball-park pricing; we would love for local construction companies to offer their help,” Bush said. “The more support we get, the more quickly we’ll have money to proceed.”

Donations can be mailed to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, PO Box 1448, Indian Trail, N.C. 28079, and the rescue is asking that donors mark “Barn Fund” on their check.

The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is an all-volunteer nonprofit founded in 2001. The rescue is dedicated to helping injured and abandoned waterfowl, including ducks, geese, swans, herons and many others. In 2011 alone, the group aided more than 2,000 birds.

Find more information on the rescue at its website, www.carolinawaterfowlrescue.com

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