Help Save Key West Parrot Sanctuary

My name is Nancy Forrester.  I am launching a campaign called Free To Fly #freetofly. I am the founder and owner of Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden, a small sanctuary in Key West, FL #keywestparrots, for unwanted parrots dedicated to the best care in rescue, rehoming and caregiving. My spotlight is on educating the public at the garden and on line via social media Facebook, Instagram,
Youtube, Orphaned Parrots at Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden
TripAdvisor Certificate of excellence

Education is vital to ending widespread parrot abuse caused by their commercial appeal, overpopulation as pets and owner ignorance.  Parrot Loving Steve, my one and only long time employee and I, and occasional volunteers are our flocks sole caregivers and educators. We welcome visitors and families 10 to 3 daily for an up close and intimate learning adventure into the fascinating world of parrots both captive and wild. The only thing most people know about parrots is that they are beautiful! We share our parrots stories, their needs, their progress here in the garden and on social media to stop the exploitation and suffering of parrots both captive and wild. We offer Parrot 101 and more. We are not A Parrot Show. We Do not Breed or Sell parrots. We emphasize Adopt Do Not Shop and Educate Yourself thoroughly before bring one home. My mission is to be the best possible caregiver to our birds and to share what I learn from them with the public. They keep you on your toes and I learn something new and exciting everyday.  I need to share what our feathered ambassadors teach me, to respect their complexity and intelligence, to provide safe clean enclosures, great nutrition, medical care, companionship, training, playtime and cuddles. I want to continue this work. I am hopeful this campaign will allow us to continue our work, reduce the immediate pressure for basics and raise the bar on care by providing a flight space for our parrots

My background, is in environment art and sustainable living. I cherish Earth's living plants and animals.  I am dedicated to protecting all species on our planet.  I am known for creating a Rain-forest Garden in Key West from which I taught life sustaining rain-forest ecology for 44 years with the goal of saving rain-forests worldwide.   These years offered me many unexpected twists and turns, less plants and more parrots.  My first experience with a parrot began 30 years ago when someone shockingly abandoned one in the garden.  Since then, my interest in helping them has grown to a passion.  Today there is a tsunami of unwanted parrots. Our Parrot Sanctuary resides in my home, which I have gladly give over to the parrots.  It is a medium sized historical house in old town with a typical small back yard. Inside my home there are two medium size "nighty night" Bird Rooms used to house all our parrots in separate cages for nighttime sleeping, cold weather, low category hurricanes and safety from bird theft. Outside, my entire back yard is given over to cages and bird stands for our parrots daytime activities, plus tables and chairs for visitor participation and education.  Animal rescues do not make money.  I barely cover expenses and sink deeper in debt. I am still here, thanks to a small core group of loyalists who know my work, our parrots and help with donations from time to time.  With their help I manage to squeak threw to buy food, pay utilities, pay vet bills and myriad other operating necessities. They are friends, I love them. I am grateful. Now validation needs to come from a larger group of people.   Please share and help grow a larger network of people. I work every day, I am a person who does not want a vacation or days off.  I enjoy my work so much, I forget I am always cliff hanging from lack of funds.  I don't allow stress and fear to overtake me.  It is debilitating.  On my recent Birthday reality set in.  I am in good health but aging has lessened my physical capabilities.  It is hard for me "a high energy do it yourselfer" to ask for help.  I need help! When I blew out my birthday candle, I wished for a successful Go Fund Me Campaign. It is hard for me to ask for money. I'm hopeful.  I do it for the parrots. Your participation insures our survival at this time and helps to provide a better habitat for the parrots.

Our Needs:  The Campaign is called Free To Fly.  We need help to survive three lean months ahead and help  to create a Parrot Flight Room.   Help with operating costs so we can survive Aug. Sept. & Oct. This is Key West's off season with few paying visitors. I am open to good ideas on how to restructure NFSG and make it more financially stable in the future. We have solid advice available to us and are exploring the idea of becoming a non profit.  A friend is designing and sending us a run of  t-shirts to sell.  The gift of business signs for our van is in the works.   Other assets for the birds take time to sell and time is running out.  With survival pressure off and your help I can convert the largest room in my house which has functioned as an Art Gallery since the mid 70s into a Parrot Flight Room, a space where the birds can fly, a play space for some of our parrots who prefer being indoors and a much needed dry and warm classroom space for educating the public when it is rainy or cold. It will be a room of great importance for parrots who fly and parrots who would like to learn to fly. Time is short to convert this room!  We are fast approaching our commitment to "Ava" our first fully flighted parrot,  her flight is to take place here the last week in August.  We have three weeks to accomplish the conversion of this space into a safe space for flighted parrots. I am ready to start working immediately as funds come in.

Needed.  Electrician for the Flight Room, to remove old tract lighting and old Hunter fans, all dangerous to flying parrots and to install  new  bird safe lighting fixtures, new bird safe fans.  A bird safe air purifier.  Four parrot play top cages, two large, two medium,  Play-gym/perch PVC custom-created  that hangs from the ceiling  wrapped with pet surgical tape for easy gripping.  Helpers to clean ceiling, walls, windows, doors and floor, Movers to move furniture and packing boxes out of the gallery to upstairs location.  Replacement of Indoor Sleeping Rooms Cages. The average life of our inside cages is about 7 years, they become badly rusted and some of our cages are close to falling apart.  New cages are needed for large parrots Ratchet, Chatsworth, Batman, and medium parrots CameyKoko and Dulce. Window AC to replace the one that no longer works. Replacement Parts for Outdoor Area equipment to keep it functional, safe and improved.  Replacement parts for our very fine and forever lasting (stainless and anodized aluminum) parrot enclosures made by Cages By Design in the way of feeder holders, feeder perches and feeder bowls.  Two palettes of cypress mulch for everyones safe passage.  Our staff and our visitors are stumbling over small surface exposed tree roots and our movable bird stands need a flat surface on which to be stable so as not wobble. Cypress mulch solves this problem.  It provides a fresh clean surface, leveling, even footing and carpets our backyard safely.  We are very grateful to Sean who has volunteered to spread the mulch.    Outdoor free standing PVC play gym custom designed  for play and social interaction.  Being out of cage is crucial to parrots mental health. Technical Equipment for our Education Program,  a computer (new, donated or refurbished) for video and film making, moto z with moto mod projector for sharing videos at the garden and community outreach,  Cell phone microphone for recording.   Van repair.  Our vehicle is needed for buying supplies, educational outreach, transporting parrots, and hurricane evacuation. 

I am setting our goal at $20,000 in the hopes it will cover our costs.  Animal welfare is not a money-making business as it should not be.  Every penny I raise goes to the welfare of our parrots and educates the public.  In a perfect world all parrots would fly free in their protected wild places of origin.  Sadly there are an estimated 100 million caged parrots in captivity in the US, most of them end up in shelters. We need to put an end to over breeding. For those who know me, you know I struggle with asking for help. I am a hard working "do it your selfer", who desires no vacation or days off .  I’m a private introverted person and sometimes it’s hard to admit I can not do this alone.  The word is, I need help. I am asking you to donate.  Of equal importance is spreading the word so more people know about us. 

Needed Immediatly, Three months Operating Costs.
To survive we need three months operating costs, Steve's salary, utilities, food, vet $4,800.00.
For Flight Room, Hire Electrician (?), 4 Cages $2,880, Cleaning Crew 2 people @ $15 for 10 hours ($300), 
Hire Movers (2 people, 3 hrs @ $15 hr $90), 
2 bird safe ceiling light fixtures (?) &  2 bird safe fans (guessing $118. for 2), 3 Bird Safe Hepa Air Purifiers  (between $200 to $400 each),
Window AC 8,000 btu ($299.99),  2 Play-gyms, PVC parts, cutter , glue, tape (?)    Dark Rooms replace worn out Sleeping Cages, 5 Cages $3,450.  Helpers to clean 2 sleeping rooms ($240.00), Replacement accessories for Cages by Design, 12 bowls ($95.40) 2 feeder holders ($119.80), 2 feeder perches ($59.90). Cypress Mulch 2 palettes ($434.74 includes delivery). Van repair, Turn Signal Assembly left front, Cargo Door repair left rear ($394 .89)  Computer and Technical Equipment for Education Program (guessing $2,000)

I am a shy person. It is hard to say I need help. I need help. I know is there is great value in the work I do, I hope others feel the same way.  I know there are a lot of animal lovers. I know people are kind and compassionate.  I have to believe we can raise this money.  I won't know unless I ask.  It is scary to ask.  I ask on behalf of our parrots who depend on me and on behalf of all parrots in the wild who I talk about everyday because we need to protect their habitats.
Your donation will make a huge difference to parrots! This campaign starts now! I am asking for donations to immediately stabilize and then enhance the shelter.  Appreciations will abound. Thanks so much for reading.
Nancy Forrester - Spread The Word!   


Donations (0)

  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
  • David Silva 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Cheryl Harris 
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
  • Nancy Fariss 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 6 mos


Nancy Forrester 
Key West, FL
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more