A new home for Nature’s Nursery

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 6:54 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Major changes are on the way for Nature’s Nursery. The wildlife rehabilitation center has been part of the community for decades and the non-profit will soon have a lot of extra room to spread its wings.

Nature’s Nursery takes in thousands of injured, sick, and orphaned wild animals every year. That’s been tough to do in this current space, but the wildlife rehabilitation center will soon have a new home.

Nature’s Nursery was started in 1989. Laura Zitzelberger is a co-founder of the non-profit.

“We took in 159 animals that first year,” Zitzelberger said. “The next year we took in about 550 animals, and 850 the year after that. Now we are helping nearly 4,000 animals a year.”

The current site is an old farm house in Whitehouse.

Allison Schroeder is the Executive Director.

“We have animals in closets, and under tables,” Schroeder said. “We have a duck in the bath tub, and baby opossums in the garage. We outgrew this space a long time ago. It is truly amazing how the staff and volunteers here have made it work for as long as they have.”

The new home of Nature’s Nursery is on Dutch Road in Waterville. It has 5,700 square-feet of inside space and 8-acres outside. Animals that come in for rehabilitation will be separated from the education animals that live out their lives at Nature’s Nursery. That separation will happen both inside and outside. There will also be a space to quarantine animals.

Schroeder says parts of the new center will be open to the public.

“For the first time ever people will be able to see some of the animals at our site and learn about them,” Schroeder said. “We’ll be able to host events. We hope to have a gazebo for story time with the animals. We are excited to have all this space and be able to share it with the community.”

The land, building and renovation work has a total price tag of $1.5 Million. Nature’s Nursery already owns the land and building. Zitzelberger says about $400,000 still needs to be raised.

“I’ve always said we get by on the kindness of strangers. People are stepping up to make this happen. It’s nice to know what we started decades ago is continuing to grow and serve the community, it means a lot to me.”

It also means a lot more animals will get a second chance thanks to Nature’s Nursery.

The plan is to be in the new space by the end of the year. Work will start inside first, followed by the outside.

If you’d like to learn more about the new home of Nature’s Nursery or make a donation, click here.

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