The Raptor Center to break ground on new outdoor education center and bird housing April 24

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Raptor Center

Facility upgrades will improve living spaces for raptors and enhance visitor experience.

The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota will break ground on a new construction and renovation project at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at The Raptor Center, 1920 Fitch Ave., St. Paul, Minn.

The ground breaking will introduce a new outdoor education center and bird housing structure slated for completion in fall 2014. Facility upgrades will enhance the experience for raptors in the center’s care as well as visitors’ experience. The groundbreaking is open to the public and educational birds will be on display.

Now in its 40th year, The Raptor Center rehabilitates more than 900 ill and injured raptors each year. Many are able to return to their natural habitats after their treatment at the center. The Raptor Center is also a destination for bird lovers, offering public tours to approximately 16,000 visitors each year as well as presenting public programs and events throughout the community to 200,000 people.

The outdoor areas for birds will be rebuilt, using contemporary materials. The older, worn wooden facilities and stairs will be removed, creating an environment that is handicapped accessible and more conducive to Minnesota’s weather challenges. With an enhanced gathering place and additional exhibit displays, visitors will be able to view the birds in every season and from one vantage point.

“The upgrades will provide increased living and rehabilitation spaces for the raptors in treatment with us as well as for our resident educational birds,” said Julia Ponder, D.V.M., executive director of The Raptor Center. “So much of what we do is advancing raptor health, conservation and teaching stewardship regarding raptors and their environment. This facility will provide a great forum for these discussions with our visitors.”

Center visits and tours are expected to continue throughout construction. Visit the The Raptor Center blog for continuing updates. 

Image: Rendering of The Raptor Center facility upgrade by MSR