Board of Directors:
The Rescuer is published 3 times per year. We welcome contributed articles, story ideas, feedback and suggestions.
Volume XXVII -- Issue One -- March 2001
Speakers Bureau Up and Running Again
by Brittany Sabol
Did you know that trimming your trees in spring is not only dangerous for the wildlife raising young in those trees, but not healthy for the trees either? Did you know outdoor cats kill an average of one million songbirds a day? Did you know sticky traps that are supposed to be safe for birds can catch them and cover them with a thick sticky goo they cannot clean off themselves? These are all problems wildlife face that could be avoided with a little education. Educating the public is part of Wildlife Rescue Inc.'s mission statement, and we accomplish that goal through our Speaker's Bureau program.
The Speakers Bureau delivers hour-long presentations to small groups throughout the community. We focus on how human beings impact wildlife and what an individual can do to protect wildlife from threats like outdoor cats and tree trimmers. We often focus on school-aged children, but we give presentations to all ages. At most presentations, we bring along one of three education animals: a great-horned owl, an American kestrel or a gopher snake. These are animals that, due to their injuries, could not be released back to the wild even though they are healthy enough to live perfectly normal lives.
Recently, WRI has undergone many changes, including the additions of a new Interim Executive Director, Animal Care Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator. Plus, the new Board of Directors was elected on March 21. The Speakers Bureau has been inactive for several months, as we have been working through these changes. As of March 20, 2001, the Speakers Bureau has been reactivated and we have already confirmed five presentations, with 14 more on the horizon.
The backbone of the Speakers Bureau lies in two new people. Jan Tyler has joined the Board as Director of Education. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the Speakers Bureau and has already proven she is a strong force in moving things forward. The day-to-day responsibilities of the Speakers Bureau are being passed on to a new Speakers Bureau Coordinator, Brittany Sabol (formerly Ullevig). Brittany has been with WRI since last July working part of that time as an Animal Care Assistant. She has a degree in Theater and Ecology and has experience with developing educational programs. She has also interned with the bird show at the Minnesota Zoo. She is dedicated to making the Speakers Bureau a strong, visible part of WRI.
There are many more changes and improvements to be made to the Speakers Bureau. We are looking for more speakers and more handlers. Eventually, we hope to be doing several presentations a week. To do that, we are considering the addition of another educational animal to our group. We can also provide a service to the Special Events committee, appearing at engagements to present animals and answer questions.
We thank you for your patience during our revamp, and look forward to serving the community with our new and improved Speaker's Bureau Program.
Please see our Wish List to see how you can help WRI