On behalf of our volunteers and the flock, we send you all our warmest holiday wishes. The holidays are a time when we all reflect on what we’re thankful for, and we want to share our deepest thanks for the support you’ve all provided throughout 2017.
Wow, what a year it’s been! In early April of this year, a car jumped the curb outside the shelter and struck the wall of our building, doing considerable structural damage, as well as rupturing a gas-line that created a leak. The good news: Thanks to the quick thinking and decisive action of a long-time volunteer, as well as help from a Good Samaritan and the Saint Paul Police & Fire Departments, we were able to get all the birds out of the building to safety quickly, and no birds were injured due to the accident.
The aftermath meant tight quarters for both the flock and volunteers for several months, and presented us with many unique challenges above and beyond simply reconstruction. From play space to storage, ensuring life went on as normally as possible for the birds was our top priority, and we continue to be amazed by not only the dedication of our wonderful volunteers, but the astounding resiliency the parrots show. Their ability to go through trauma, adapt to change and thrive is nothing short of astonishing.
Reconstruction on our building began shortly after the accident and involved rebuilding the entire outer wall of our big-bird room. Over the course of several months, the outer wall and support structure was rebuilt, new and larger windows, as well as air conditioner ports were added, and new tile and new radiators were installed.
As of mid-October, reconstruction was completed, and we started moving the flock back to their normal places in the building. This has made for some very happy birds and volunteers who are now enjoying a little more space to spread their wings, so to speak. The birds absolutely love the larger windows, and many spend much of their day looking out on the busy street, watching cars drive by, and engaging in people-watching.
Now the work turns back to continuing improvements to help make us more energy-efficient, and provide greater services to improve the lives of these remarkable creatures. Our goals for 2018 carry over from our 2017 goals that had to be put on pause due to the accident, and include adding solar panels to reduce our energy use and carbon footprint, adding more and larger windows to the rest of the building for our flock to enjoy, and continuing to work to provide the best possible care for our feathered friends.
The outpouring of support we received this year after the accident was humbling and incredibly moving, and we want all of you to know how deeply we and the flock appreciate your support. The work doesn’t end here – we’re asking for your continued support in the year to come so we can continue working to rehabilitate these amazing animals and provide them with the best possible care, which they so deeply deserve.
We’re always humbled by the consistent outpouring of support, generosity, and dedication to MAARS’ mission and our flock. Whether it’s through financial assistance or contributions of time, you are all the foundation that ensures we’re able to continue the work of sharing the challenges birds in captivity face, and providing the greatest care for the flock of birds who call The Landing home.
With deepest gratitude & wishes for all the best in 2018.