Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff Carol Kelly, executive director of Medicine River Wildlife Centre. The centre southwest of Spruce View will have a new hospital and playground by spring.

Medicine River Wildlife Centre has big winter planned

A new hospital and playground will give wildlife centre a whole new look

About this time of year, many wildlife critters are thinking of hunkering down for the winter.

Hibernation is the last thing on the mind of Medicine River Wildlife Centre executive director Carol Kelly.

The centre southwest of Spruce View, which has been tending to injured wildlife since 1984, is embarking on one of its busiest winters yet.

A nine-year project to build a new hospital and education centre has come to fruition.

“We’ve identified the funds, we believe, for the whole building now,” says Kelly, standing before the concrete pad that will become a new hospital.

“The walls and shell of the building have been ordered. So we’ll be working on the interor of the building over the winter.”

When completed in the spring, the $1-million facility will have new and improved intensive care units, quarantine room, examination and patient receiving room, oiled wildlife wash area, freezer room and education centre.

It is a project that could not have happened without the help of many, she said.

Construction, concrete and roofing companies have donated their expertise, materials and time.

“What’s been really helpful getting it through is not only cash donations but labour,” she says, adding companies stepped up to provide both the roof and concrete floor free of charge.

“That kind of work is every bit as good as cash,” she says, adding service clubs, community volunteers, governments and others have also provided invaluable support of all kinds.

The hospital is not the only big change visitors will see next year.

A $133,000-grant from Central Alberta Co-op is going towards what Kelly says will be a “spectacular” new playground for kids.

“We’ve received the funding. It’s in the bank, and we are in the process of designing and building and it will be ready for next year.

“The new playground is like any other,” she says.

Children can play in a fox den, bird box, beaver lodge and owl’s nest.

To put children even further into the mindset of the bird or animal of their choice, they will be given hats to assume their adopted wildlife personas.

A few nimbled-fingered sewing talents are wanted to help create the hats for them over the winter.

Kelly already has big plans beyond the current projects. A new bird of prey compound is needed, as well as another for mammals.

The most ambitious project in the works is a new interpretive centre.

“It never ends. It just keeps going,” she says.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Province purchases land for new Red Deer courthouse

Construction to begin in the fall of 2019

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month