Help needed for Asa Wright Nature Centre
Photo: Bill Wise, via the Asa Wright Nature Centre/Facebook.
The Asa Wright Nature Centre is urgently calling for assistance in raising funds to keep the centre functioning during the pandemic.
In a social media post the centre, a well-known nature centre visited by birdwatchers worldwide, said a kind donor has offered to match donations which reach up to US$50,000, if the sum is attained by December 31, 2020.
Access to the centre has been limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the facility said funds are needed to maintain the grounds, staff and food for the animals as the centre has no other source of income:
'Right now, if we can raise US$50,000, an anonymous patron will match the full US$50,000 by December 31, 2020! This means that you or your organization’s donation will have double the value in supporting Asa Wright. We already have over US$20,000 donated after only three weeks of fundraising.'
'Please join the growing list of friends, government officials, business and community leaders, scientists, environmentalists, teachers, parents and children from around the world who have already donated to help us meet this goal and secure the critical matching funds for Asa Wright.'
'While we are closed during this crisis our staff is making every effort to continue to provide food for our resident birds in order that they still be there for our visitors when we can re-open!'
'Our staff members are also volunteering to come in and sustain our on-going research and conservation projects as well as to provide needed maintenance for the trails and grounds of the Centre.'
'As we have no revenue to sustain this important activity your assistance is critical – please help support our work now with your donation.'
The centre said overseas donations can also be made by cheque to the “Friends of the Asa Wright Nature Centre” to Secretary, FOAWNC, 2601 Burlington Ave N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33713.
The Asa Wright Nature Centre has been in operation for over 50 years, and was established in 1967 by naturalists and bird watchers to protect part of the Arima Valley in its natural state.
It was one of the first nature centres to be established in the Caribbean.
The reserve comprises almost 1,500 acres of mainly forested land in the Arima and Aripo Valleys of the Northern Range, the AWNC’s properties will be retained under forest cover in perpetuity, to protect the community watershed and provide important wildlife habitat.
The Centre’s main facilities are located on a former cocoa-coffee-citrus plantation, previously known as the Spring Hill Estate.