Environmental impact of our new facility

Some people have asked us what the environmental impact of building a new facility for our wildlife rehabilitation efforts will be. We spent several years planning, revising those plans, and revising the revisions to make sure we were being responsible stewards of the land within our property and surrounding it. A proper balance needed to be struck between the needs of our patients, staff, city & county regulations, and the environment. This is not an easy, or cheap, thing to do but it is important. We’ve done our due diligence and we are certain that we have found the right balance.

During the initial phases of the planning process we considered moving into and renovating an existing structure. Unfortunately, an appropriate structure that could provide a quiet, secluded environment for our recovering patients, concrete flooring (for easy sanitizing), while still staying within budget did not exist. So we had to make the decision to purchase property and obtain a special-use permit to turn it into an appropriate wildlife rehabilitation facility.

We have been very mindful of the environmental impact a project like this can have and focused on using recycled materials wherever possible. Seventy percent of the materials needed for new construction are recycled, we have minimized the amount of 2×4 lumber we’ll need, energy efficient LED lighting will be used throughout, and we will be adding a garden bed to grow our own vegetables to feed the animals we care for. Plus, we have made sure our plans leave as much natural habitat in tact as possible on our property. In fact, only one healthy, mature tree needs to be removed for the entire project, and that is to make way for the parking lot filtration system.

A nine-stall parking lot is required per city code, and we recognize that parking lots can have a significant and negative impact on the surrounding environment and nearby water sources. The design and engineering group working with us did a drainage and hydrological study, after which they planned a filtration system that will clean any run-off from the parking lot before it reaches a natural water source. We’ll also be using recycled asphalt and retaining wall blocks made from recycled concrete.

We have also been making improvements to the existing structures on the property, including replacing an out-of-code septic system that had been leaking polluted water into the ground.

As with everything in life, balance needs to be found. We needed a new facility to heal our wildlife patients, but we did not want to remove valuable habitat or pollute the nearby creek to do so. We have worked very hard to find that balance and maintain the integrity of the land we are using. For anyone who may have more questions about how we’re ensuring our project is environmentally sound, please call us at 218-491-3604 or email wildwoods@wildwoodsrehab.org.