By Kara Bale for The Island Connection
The Avian Conservation Center announced a $5,000 grant from Wells Fargo & Company to support the Center’s STEM-based environmental educational programs, bringing engaging and hands-on learning opportunities with wild birds of prey to underserved students in the community. “The decisions we make today directly affect the status of environmental conservation for generations to come.
By exposing students to programs incorporating live birds of prey, we are able to encourage active participation in the natural world with a scientific perspective. It is our obligation to assist these young students in developing an understanding and appreciation for our crucial role as stewards of our cherished natural resources,” says Jim Elliott, Founder and Executive Director of the Avian Conservation Center and Center for Birds of Prey. Beyond expanding awareness of the importance of wild bird populations as indicators of the overall health of the ecosystem, the Center’s programs add an environmental element to STEM curriculum that inspires the next generation of scientists, engineers, manufacturers, and more. The funds provided by Wells Fargo will be used to advance their corporate priorities of education outreach, civic engagement, and environmental sustainability with a priority given to engaging at-risk students and Title 1 schools in the Lowcountry.
“We believe that education is one of the most important investments we can make in our country’s future, and Wells Fargo’s continued support of the Avian Conservation Center and its educational programs for underserved students is a testament to that belief,” said Wells Fargo Lowcountry Business Banking Manager and Charleston Market President Len Hutchison. “The success of our young students is a critical element in keeping our communities strong and prosperous, and Wells Fargo is committed to providing them with every possible resource to achieve long-term success.
Founded in 1991 in response to the crucial need of an avian conservation center in South Carolina, the Avian Conservation Center exists to identify and address vital environmental issues by providing medical care to injured birds of prey and shorebirds, and through educational, research and conservation initiatives. Each year the Center provides conservation and STEM education for more than 40,000 individuals and students, treats more than 600 injured birds of prey and shorebirds, and operates the only permanent oiled bird response facility of its kind on the eastern seaboard. The Center for Birds of Prey is the principle operating division of the Avian Conservation Center and is located off of North Highway 17, just 16 miles north of Charleston in Awendaw. Open to the public every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, visitors enjoy expertly guided walking tours and flight demonstration featuring an exciting array of falcons, hawks, owls and other birds of prey. Admission to the center is $15 for adults, $10 for youth (ages 6-17) and free for children younger than six. For more information, visit TheCenterForBirdsOfPrey. org, call 843.971.7474 or like the Center for Birds of Prey on Facebook at facebook.com/scbirdsofprey.