MANSFIELD – This year has never been a better time to get out and enjoy nature, the planet and the animals. Especially the beautiful birds.
The Ohio Bird Sanctuary provides services to families, nature enthusiasts, educators, assisted living centers and the public. The rehabilitation services are provided statewide.
The Sanctuary directly provides these services, but it also serves as a call center to assist individuals in determining if an animal needs rescue and to guide them to the closest licensed rehabilitation center.
“One of the first lessons taught in my Animal Physiology class was that successful species are those that possess the ability to adapt to their environment,” said Gail Laux, executive director of the Ohio Bird Sanctuary. “Those species that can alter their behaviors and—if given time—change physical attributes are those that will survive and thrive.”
After outgrowing its original location, the Sanctuary relocated to 52 acres leased from the Mansfield Scout Council. This resulted in a permanent home for the organization and the opportunity to become a public and integral part of the community.
OBS is staffed today by an Executive Director, Director of Operations, Director of Programming, Curator of Birds and part-time naturalists. Laux has served as executive director for 30 years.
The Sanctuary’s mission is carried out by providing three primary services: professional care for injured and displaced native birds, educational programs and operation of a nature preserve and living museum that has been thoughtfully designed for accessibility. Avian rehabilitation services are provided by trained staff and a veterinarian.
OBS is very fortunate to be an organization that could adjust operations to remain open along with having very loyal supporters to help them navigate the changing environment. They have gained a number of new visitors that traveled long distances to spend the day at OBS.
“The last six months have been a journey,” Laux said. “It has caused many of us to be introspective on what we hold most important. At the Sanctuary, the staff and board strived to keep a positive attitude while addressing the concern around the coronavirus.”
“By summer, we were able to hold camps and reopen the Visitor Center,” Laux said. “We became an outdoor destination for families throughout Ohio. To expand our services, we now offer programming for families doing remote learning to create fun outdoor educational opportunities.”
As a new year rings closer, OBS has two initiatives in mind: a general operations support mission and raising funds to support the construction of Accessible Treehouse-Classroom, which is now scheduled for construction in July 2021.
“Our ability to keep staff in place put us in the position to be a statewide resource for the public to resolve wildlife issues,” Laux said.
You can support the Ohio Bird Sanctuary and their mission by donating here.