‘Hoo’ Haven Raptor Education Program to expand

Local wildlife rehabilitation facility, “Hoo” Haven, Inc., near Durand, Ill., will be able to expand its Raptor Education Program with a new addition to its live “birds of prey” exhibit and recent grant funding. ‘Hoo’ Haven has been awarded a grant of $1,900 from the Ralph E. and Mildred Johnson Fund (Community Needs Fund) of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois,” facility Director Karen Herdklotz said.

According to Herdklotz, the grant will be used for the daily care of the program’s eight “Raptor Ambassadors” and funds needed to provide several in-school programs to disadvantaged third-grade students in the Rockford School District. More than the 2006-2007 school year, this unique science education program will reach approximately 1,500 students who might not otherwise afford out-of-school field trips or environmental education programs.

“The grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois will give us additional resources to educate our youth about wildlife and local conservation efforts,” stated Herdklotz.

‘Hoo’ Haven has provided quality education programs to schools, scouts, corporations and other groups for the past 18 years and offers 50-75 presentations annually.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recently deemed “Hoo” Haven as a federally designated “Eagle Recovery Center” and granted special permission for Karen and Steven Herdklotz to train and exhibit a juvenile bald eagle. The eaglet was injured and left with a severe wing defect that prevents her from surviving in the wild.

With the addition of “Ruffles,” the bald eagle, the Raptor Ambassador Program will now include eight birds of prey, each representing a different owl, hawk, vulture or eagle species.

Founded in 2000, “Hoo” Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that offers federally and state-licensed wildlife rehabilitation services. Each year, approximately 600 animals and birds are treated at the facility. Most “Hoo” patients are released back into the wild as healthy animals.

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is a not-for-profit community foundation that supports charitable programs in the four-county area of northern Illinois comprising Winnebago, Boone, Ogle and Stephenson counties. Since its founding in 1953, the Foundation has given more than $30 million in grants to community projects and organizations.

From the March 1-7, 2006, issue

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