Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Receives a Grant From Impact 100 Organization

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Impact 100 is a group of 100 community leaders.

Each puts up $1,000 to go to community improvement projects.

This year the group wants to help the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge

"When they announced the award, what flashed through my mind was finally an opportunity to have a really viable medical center on our property,” said Susan Leveille, Assistant Director for the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. “It is right in the center of all the action where a lot of animals are found, and to respond quickly and have the equipment we need to do so."

The wildlife refuge is receiving a $110,000 grant.

Employees are currently caring for 100 animals, ranging from raccoons and foxes, to otters, blue herons and three bob cats.

Many have extensive medical problems.

"The new facility is going to give us the space for the enclosures that we need,” said Debbie Wingfield, Wildlife Health Technician at the refuge. “It will be great especially for our larger animals that we don't have the space for right now. As for the clinic we hope to set up a better work area, where we can start animals on fluids when they come through the door."

Refuge employees have already picked out the property for the new facility, which will be 1,500 square feet.

They'll not only help animals, but educate the public as well.

The workers will sit down with Impact 100 coordinators to discuss the grant guidelines.

The ECWR rescues more than 2,000 injured or orphaned animals each year.