ENOCH — Officials recently broke ground on Southwest Wildlife Foundation’s new wildlife rescue center in Enoch.
The short ceremony, which took place the morning of June 11, was attended by Martin and Susan Tyner, who started the nonprofit foundation and have operated it for more than 25 years, along with Enoch City officials and approximately 30 other people.
In keeping with the spirit of the “Putting Down Roots” ceremony, as it was called, participants didn’t just turn over a small amount of dirt, they actually put their shovels to work, planting a total of 10 new trees that will provide shade along the south perimeter of the site.
As previously reported in Cedar City News, the Tyners decided last year to move their animal rescue operation away from its former home at Cedar Canyon Park and relocate to Enoch.
Enoch City agreed to lease the property to the foundation for 100 years at the rate of $1 per year.
“The Tyners are longtime residents of Enoch, and we’re super excited to be able to help them out,” Enoch Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut later told Cedar City News. “In this instance, for Enoch, it’s just another example of where we try to be out of the way and let people pursue passion and vision and get something really neat that is going to be productive for our community.”
Construction is expected to begin soon, with some girders having already been delivered to the site, which is located on the north end of town, adjacent to the Enoch Animal Shelter and the Enoch Dog Park. The facility’s future street address will be 6337 N. 650 East, Enoch.
The raptor rescue building being constructed in the project’s first phase includes plans for a 100-foot flight chamber in which large birds will have room to fly as part of their rehabilitation.
“Down the road, they are looking at a potential addition or another building that where they can do educational outreach,” Chestnut added. “This could be, ultimately, a destination for groups, educating them on how to care for and better protect our wildlife.”
Also during the ceremony, Curtis Whitehead, representing Findlay Subaru of St. George, presented Martin Tyner with a check for $10,693, representing the automotive dealership’s annual contribution to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation. Also in attendance was Tom Heaton of Rocky Mountain Power, another of the foundation’s biggest longtime supporters.
According to Susan Tyner, they are currently taking care of several baby birds at their home, including seven barn owls, and five kestrel falcons.
To learn more about the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, visit its website or its Facebook page. Additionally, its YouTube channel includes nearly 400 videos, some of which have attracted millions of views.
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