Wednesday, April 28, 2021

When the rescuers become the rescued

eagle pastelBy Wendy Hall

The Adirondack Wildlife Refuge LLC has always worked tirelessly to help preserve wildlife through direct public outreach. A mission right from our hearts we share with all of you and with hard work and perseverance we will continue to perform well into the future. We do however have some hills to climb to ensure that we can continue to provide you with a wholesome and safe place to bring your entire family and admire the incredible “ambassador” animals that we share the planet with. We do this in the form of non-releasable species who are given a lifesaving forever home and happy stimulating environment while we share their story with all of you.

We are currently raising funds to build a “required” 1,500-foot parameter fence to ensure regulatory compliance, by June 1 (a matter of weeks from now). This mandated and difficult project is over $100k to complete. It’s a tough hill for us to climb but with all of your support, I know we can and must achieve this to keep our bears and wolves and many other animals home!

For well over a decade, we (AWRR) worked with a partnering NPO. That was until late Sep 2020, when they and we parted ways. We had previously worked with this non-profit organization for over a decade and this created profoundly serious challenges to ensure the long-term viability of the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge LLC.

In the toughest of times comes the most wonderful things…  Visiting us at the refuge we have made wonderful friends with Mark and Anne Fraser who for decades have been dedicated naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Anne is an amazing wildlife photographer and Mark creates beautiful wildlife films and hosts public walks and events to raise awareness about preserving wildlife and habitat. He has been seen on Mountain Lake PBS many times with his wildlife show “Nature Walks.”

One day as we visited, we discussed the refuge and the inability to continue working with the original non-profit organization. This was not only heart wrenching but also created the greatest challenge in our long history. Upon hearing this problem Mark looked over at me and without pause nor hesitation and said, “we have a Non-Profit and we can and will help”. It was a soulful teary moment to say the least and is living proof that miracles are real!

Mark and Anne are founders of an amazing federally recognized 501c3 organization called the “Nature Walks Conservation Society.

They immediately and successfully filed with NY State as a recognized charitable organization to continue the mission to “Promote Wildlife Preservation Through Direct Public Outreach” which is “literally” listed on their website’s front page. Our two organizations are symbiotic, allowing the Wildlife Refuge to continue to promote wildlife preservation through direct public outreach as every visitor to the refuge learns about these amazing animals!

We are so very thankful and now the work to raise funds can begin!

If you wish to help us achieve success for all of us and our wild neighbors, you can donate online at Adirondack Wildlife Refuge or Nature Walks Conservation Society websites for donations.

If you wish to donate by mail you can make a check payable to:

Nature Walks Conservation Society

And send it to us at the

Adirondack Wildlife

977 Springfield Road

Wilmington, NY 12997

We continue to be open year round, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays by donation. Our partners Kevin and Jackie Woodcock of Skylyfeadk continue to educate about pollinators, in addition to creating beautiful enclosures to fit inside our new mandated perimeter fence.

Finally, the Hanczyk family, whose memorial center in honor of their daughter Kayla’s life, serves as a shrine for families and individuals who have lost love ones, or a beautiful center to reflect

Wendy B Hall is co-founder of the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge. Artwork of bald eagles was created by Hall.

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The Adirondack Almanack publishes occasional guest essays from Adirondack residents, visitors, and those with an interest in the Adirondack Park. Submissions should be directed to Almanack editor Melissa Hart at

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