Wildlife centre needs cash

Medicine River Wildlife Centre is now in the running for $420,000 in federal cash to upgrade its facility thanks to quick community donations of $135,000 earlier this week.

Medicine River Wildlife Centre is now in the running for $420,000 in federal cash to upgrade its facility thanks to quick community donations of $135,000 earlier this week.

In late January, the wildlife centre was offered a chance at $370,000 from the federal government’s Community Adjustment Fund if it could raise $100,000 in matching funds.

The centre did even better.

“We have met our quota. But nothing is a guarantee and I won’t know if we’re fully approved until mid-March,” said executive director Carol Kelly on Friday.

Two anonymous donors contributed the bulk of the money, along with other smaller donations to reach $135,000.

The federal grant and all money raised in the community will go towards a $500,000-project to upgrade the centre’s nature trail and build a new wildlife hospital. Improvements are part of the centre’s $3-million renovation project.

Located west of Innisfail, the centre has a wildlife hospital and environmental education centre dedicated to assisting injured and orphaned wild animals to return to their natural environment.

The centre is also looking for donations for phase two, which includes an upgraded interpretative centre.

“I don’t want people to think we’re finished. There’s still more that we need,” Kelly said.

“If people are intrigued by the project at all, come out and see our drawings and designs and the facility as it stands right now.”

For more information, call Kelly at 403-728-3467.