Medicine River Wildlife Centre and similar nonprofit organizations are looking to the province to help pay operating costs for facilities that care for injured or orphaned wildlife.
Carol Kelly, MRWC executive director, said the only reason the organizations exist is because the public wants the service.
“I think a lot of times when we’re the providing services the general public gets the idea that we’re funded, and we’re not. We’re in discussions with the government at the moment,” said Carol Kelly, MRWC executive director, on Tuesday.
She said Alberta Fish and Wildlife sends them a ton of work, but no funding.
“They are beginning to realize the huge amount of work we take on.”
She said it would be great if MRWC could count on $150,000 annually from the province to cover one quarter of the centre’s yearly operational costs.
“It would be peanuts for the government, but it would be huge for all of us.”
Last month the centre found out it didn’t get the Community Facility Enhancement Program grant it needed to help build its new wildlife hospital.
Kelly said she will reapply, but the centre is not going to sit around and wait to see what happens.
“We want to move forward as much as we can so we are approaching other donors and anyone else.”
She said the existing building may not be usable this winter.
“It’s falling apart in our hands, in pieces. My facility manager refers to it as 50 per cent duct tape now.”
She said a $20,000 donation recently did come in from someone to put the roof on the hospital.
“He thought we owe a debt to wildlife because we do so much damage. Those trusses can’t sit on the ground because it will damage them so he wanted to get involved.”
She said a Spruce View painter is going to donate his time to spray paint the building’s exterior. A company will put the shingles up for free, and someone with Red Deer Lions Club is ready to do the inside electrical work. But the centre still needs cash donations to purchase the doors, windows and shingles which would cost over $60,000.
The Lions Club has donated $5,000 towards materials, Kelly said.
“Taking it in bits and pieces is I think the only way we’re going to do it at the moment.”
MRWC also has a Go Fund Me account Funding Flight: Help Them Soar to raise $160,000 for a new flight compound where birds of prey can recover.
“We designed one big compound to handle all of them and it will be run by solar power and it will be far more durable than the wood cages we’ve had.”