Mission: Piedmont Wildlife Center fosters healthy connections among people, wildlife and nature. This is accomplished through the following programs:
Education – Our goal is to stress the importance of the natural world and teach how we can live more harmoniously with the wildlife that share our environment and to live a more sustainable life.
Conservation – Our goal is to improve wildlife habitat to ensure that native wildlife in this area have clean air, water, food and ecosystems in which to thrive. Promoting the care of injured and sick wildlife – Our goal is to improve the network of veterinarians, rehabilitators, citizens and volunteers to ensure that injured and sick wildlife receive the care they need as quickly as possible.
Results: We are creating a volunteer staffed wildlife hotline this spring so answer phone calls from citizens dawn to dusk so any injured or orphaned wildlife can be sent to local rehabilitators as quickly as possible.
Target demographics: children aged 4-18 and adults in the Triangle area of North Carolina
Direct beneficiaries per year: 7,000
Geographic areas served: Triangle region of North Carolina
Programs: Piedmont Wildlife Center has 3 operating programs: 1) Education Program; 2) WildlifeConservation Program (with internships); 3)Wildlife Emergencies. Our education is aimed at elementary, middle and high school students and teaches them natural history information about wildlife, causes of injury to wildlife and gives children options of things they can do to make a positive impact on their environment. The Conservation Program works with college interns year-round on various conservation projects to study native wildlife and to improve wildlife habitat in our local area. The Wildlife Emergencies program answers citizens questions about wildlife issues and directs citizens finding injured or orphaned wildlife to local rehabilitators for assistance.
I had some good experiences volunteering at Piedmont Wildlife Center as I felt I was contributing and there are nice people there, but when I set a limit against doing any (and usually last minute) administrative task (I didn't sign up for that), which seemed to pop into one leader's head while I wasn't given the information I needed to do my agreed upon tasks, I realized this area of administration is probably running along a rut, and I needed to leave.
The Center seems to have two strong programs, with each leader very focused on their interest. So, for example, if you want to volunteer to work with raptors, you are likely to have a good experience.
There aren't many volunteer roles for the Center's biggest strength, youth and teen camps and adult workshops, but the education director does take time to listen to and support the volunteers and interns as much as her schedule allows.
Other areas mentioned in the Center's mission statement are run chaotically. I heard (summer '10) the mission statement is being revised, so perhaps these challenges will be addressed with the changes. For now, I only recommend accepting short-term, group volunteer assignments. The special projects coordinator, a volunteer, does a good job leading group tasks such as grounds maintenance.