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Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) recently presented a $100,000 check on behalf of the AEP Foundation empowering Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation Center to begin construction on our new operations facility.
The donation equals approximately one-third of the cost of building the new facility at 17688 Lima Road.

“This generous contribution from the AEP Foundation is the final piece of the financing puzzle that will allow us to begin building our long-awaited new ‘nest’ that will provide modern recovery enclosures, a new aviary and a long-needed operations building,” said Harry Owen, President of Soarin’ Hawk. “In addition to enhancing our recovery care for raptors, our new home will allow us to greatly expand our educational programs, which already reach about 10,000 students annually.”

Toby Thomas, President and Chief Operations Officer for I&M, noted the long partnership between Soarin’ Hawk and the energy provider.

“I&M and Soarin’ Hawk have been partners in wildlife conservation for more than a quarter century. Soarin’ Hawk volunteers have provided veterinary services and other care for the multiple generations of peregrine falcons that have bred, hatched and fledged on the roof of Indiana Michigan Power Center,” Thomas said. “In their new home, Soarin’ Hawk will be able to expand both its wildlife conservation practices as well as the important education they provide.”

The new campus will include:

  • New, modern recovery enclosures and habitats that are designed to provide a natural setting for the raptors, while minimizing maintenance.
  • An aviary that will enable our volunteers to exercise multiple birds in all weather conditions, which results in the return of birds-of-prey to their natural environment much quicker.
  • An operations building that will provide climate-controlled space for triage and treatment; a preparation area for raptors’ food; and serve as a base for Soarin’ Hawk’s volunteers.

Soarin’ Hawk plans to break ground on the new facility as soon as the weather breaks. Site preparation will include restoring a portion of the acreage to much needed Prairie, Pollinator and Riparian habitats.

I&M and Soarin’ Hawk began working together in wildlife conservation since 1993 with the introduction of peregrine falcons to Fort Wayne and the placing of a nesting box on top of Indiana Michigan Power Center. Soarin’ Hawk volunteers assist the Indiana Department of Natural Resources with banding falcon chicks several weeks after they hatch.

Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab’s mission is to conserve our raptor population through education and rehabilitation. Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab is a not-for-profit organization established in 1996 to serve northeast Indiana’s injured or orphaned birds of prey. We are fortunate to be able to offer our patients a blend of modern veterinary science (volunteer veterinary services, x-ray, laboratory, and aggressive post-surgical physical therapy) and the ancient art of falconry (“creance” reconditioning, “hack” releases of orphans and honing of hunting skills when needed).

The Waynedale News Staff
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