Ellis Bird Farm to expand
In odd-numbered years, the annual August fundraising event at the Ellis Bird Farm is to be a low-key affair. The big fundraising pushes are to occur when the years are even-numbered.
But the 2013 event will be remembered at the rural aviary destination as a big fundraising milestone.
At the Friday event, MEGlobal, a major sponsor of the bird farm since 2004, presented a cheque for $450,000 to the sanctuary’s efforts to build a new visitor centre.
“Our chairman had sent an email out just saying that there would be a donation to our new building made,” explained Myrna Pearman, the bird farm’s biologist and manager.
“We assumed it would be a modest donation from a local business and instead they brought this big sign, which was the cheque and had us unveil it there, and it was in the amount of $450,000.
“Needless to say, it took us all by surprise.”
Plans for the visitor centre are not finalized, but the donation will likely cover the majority of the price of the build. The new building is expected to be about 50 per cent larger than the current structure, at around 3,000 square feet.
“One of the needs that we have is to have a space big enough to hold people in the event of inclement weather. That’s always been an issue,” said Pearman.
Berry Architecture and Associates has done the preliminary drawings for the centre pro bono as a further help to the bird farm.
A meeting will be held this week, said Pearman, to discuss any tweaks that need to be made and to map out a timeline for the build.
She added that the bird farm is continuing to look for donations for the project and noted it has received many smaller donations to the initiative as well, for which it is very grateful.