New Visitors Center @ Webster Pond

Friends of Wildlife at Webster Pond (FOWL) is the new sister organization to The Anglers Association. The Anglers maintain Webster Pond, a wildlife sanctuary that has various types of waterfowl, including, but not limited to, ducks, geese, and one Trumpeter swan. We also have deer and other wild animals. We give them a place to stay where they can be cared for, with feedings daily, and rehabilitation if they get injured, or become ill. The public can enjoy feeding them corn or lettuce available by donation, which is our primary source of revenue. Volunteers operate the Pond by opening the office to pass out feed, collect donations, and to ensure the safety of the waterfowl and visitors.

F.O.W.L. was formed by members of the Anglers Association, but it is a completely separate entity formed to assist the Pond and Anglers Association with fundraising, improvement projects, and grant writing.  All donations or services given to the Friends are tax-deductible, because of its 501-c3 status as a non-profit organization. 

I personally have always wanted to form a non-profit for this purpose, but really felt the need to pursue it after having more than 32 birds hit by cars in 2011 alone, leaving the Anglers no choice but to install a split rail fence with chicken wire to keep the waterfowl out of the road. The cost was $15,000.00; with limited ability to use outside funding sources, I decided now was the time to form F.O.W.L. so we would be ready for future projects.

We are currently in need of financial assistance to help better serve the public by rebuilding our visitor center.  We are fundraising to build a new rustic-style, handicap accessible visitor center measuring approximately 25x48 ft. with ADA accessible restrooms (indoor plumbing instead of portable toilets), a visitors area conference room, and the bedrooms shown in the slideshow  will be offices. The common visitor area will have more educational and interactive material making it informative and fun for all ages. See photos and description by clicking the link below:    http://www.woodtex.com/cabins/keuka/
  
Our current building is very small (15x24 feet) and crowded, and we are in dire need of more space.  But it is more complicated than just a building. We currently have no utility hook-ups so we must pay for new service and have the lines installed from the main in the road to the property. The project is estimated at over $300,000.00.  We are hoping we can achieve our goal within the next 5 to 10 years.   To raise funds throughout the years we will hold events such as our recent silent auction, carnivals, craft shows etc.   All donations will be matched dollar for dollar by Covanta Onondaga up to $5000.00 a year. 
 
When we first formed the Friends of Wildlife, we had two projects in mind, the first being to renovate the back trails around the Pond and make them ADA compliant and accessible to all. It was expected that this project would take an estimated 5 years to complete. Due to the generosity of our donors, it took only eight months to complete. We named the trail "The Veterans Memorial Trail." It is six tenths of a mile surrounding the shoreline of the Pond. There are two scenic legs of the trail, three bridges; plenty of benches and natural seating, and it is a wonderful place to view nature, and the greenery.   We have been rated one of Central New York's top places to see the fall foliage.  We would appreciate any help from the public to contribute to the cause. It will not only benefit our current visitors, but all the future generations who visit Webster Pond. The pond is open year-round and offers many activities for the visitors to enjoy, including Junior and Adult fishing programs, summer concerts and much more. 
 
The second project is to create this visitor center facility. Should you need any more information, feel free to contact us at any time. Thank you for taking the time to read this pledge. As you may have noticed one of the key points is accessibility for the disabled. Speaking from experience, being wheelchair bound with Cerebral Palsy, I know how challenging it can be to access public locations. Speaking as the manager of Webster Pond and a major advocate for the disabled, I can ensure you that will never happen here.  My main concern is equal access for all. I have hit some major roadblocks during my 20 years of service. Hence, since I became manager, I wanted to make sure ADA compliant paths were created around the pond.  As you can see I don't plan to stop there. Thanks to everyone who made it possible.
 

Thank you in advance,

President
Chad Norton

Friends Of Wildlife
Board Of Directors
315-727-2922

Donations (0)

  • Cullen Kerekes 
    • $5 
    • 27 d
  • Ramon Leach 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Cullen Kerekes 
    • $5 
    • 5 mos
  • Colleen Kania 
    • $20 
    • 5 mos
  • Jillian Kerekes 
    • $10 
    • 5 mos

Organizer 

Chad Norton 
Organizer
Syracuse, NY
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