A successful application to the Lottery Grant Board’s WW1 Commemorations, Environment and Heritage Fund, has provided a significant half a million dollar boost towards the establishment of Wildbase Recovery.
Wildbase Recovery Community Trust is working with Rotary and Palmerston North City Council to raise $5.3m to build the world-class wildlife recovery facility in Palmerston North’s Victoria Esplanade. The WW1 Commemorations, Environment and Heritage Fund’s $500,000 grant takes the total raised to $1.9m.
Wildbase Recovery will provide permanent whio and pāteke breeding aviaries, inflight aviaries and fourteen rehabilitation aviaries. The facility will offer some of our most endangered species specialist rehabilitation from illness and injury before their release back into the wild.
The patients will come to Wildbase Recovery after receiving unparalleled specialist treatment at Massey University’s Wildbase Hospital. All fully recovered patients will be released back into the wild, rather than held in captivity. There is no other facility like this in New Zealand; its direct connection with Wildbase Hospital and contribution to conservation efforts reflects the project’s national and global significance.
The aviaries, set alongside an education centre, will also offer the public up close and personal experiences with recuperating wildlife such as kiwi, takahē, yellow eyed penguins and kākā. Each patient’s journey back to wellness will engage visitors directly with conservation stories of their species.
Fundraising efforts have moved at a steady pace since Wildbase Recovery Community Trust’s official launch in August this year. “Donations have come through numerous means,” says Trust Chair, Roger Kennedy. “Substantial amounts like those from the Lottery Grants Board’s adds to funds already received through community donations, school fundraising activities and in-kind offers. The community project is Rotary-led, with Lions supporting the effort. Together, we are making good progress and can reach our goal over the next 12 months”.
Acting Palmerston North Mayor, Jim Jefferies, was delighted with the news. “The Victoria Esplanade is a jewel in the region’s parks. Wildbase Recovery will add a major visitor attraction with conservation and education at its core; completely superseding our tired, embarrassing aviaries. I can’t wait”.
Read the Manawatu Standard story here.