Five Things We’re Excited About in the New Care Center!

Help us rebuild the Wildlife Care Center and renew our campus and educational spaces – visit ForPortlandBird Alliance of to learn more and donate to support our capital campaign.

by Stephanie Herman, Wildlife Care Center Manager

1. Expanded capacity to house our patients!

We will more than double the housing space we have available, which is much needed because admissions have more than doubled since the building was built. Not only that, we will add specialized and flexible housing options to better meet the needs of our extremely diverse set of patients. For example, we’ll have isolation rooms for better quarantine procedures, and a specialized open-air baby-bird room where we’ll provide the intensive care babies need while acclimating them to natural light, outside temperatures, and the sounds of Forest Park.

Turkey Vulture with lead poisoning receives exam
Connie Lo, staff veterinarian, and Stephanie Herman, Wildlife Care Center manager, examine the Turkey Vulture.

2. Higher quality medical care!

The addition of a surgical suite will allow us to provide sterile procedures and emergency care to trauma patients on-site without the delay of coordinating with off-site veterinary partners. Other upgrades, like on-demand oxygen, additional laboratory space and equipment, and an expanded radiology space, will increase our critical care and diagnostic abilities so we can create more individualized treatment plans.

3. Better opportunities for the public to view and learn about our work!

A big part of what we do revolves around helping people live more harmoniously with wildlife. While we do our very best for every patient that comes to us, it is always better if an animal doesn’t need us at all. New, accessible viewing windows into our exam room and kitchen, as well as a video feed from our surgery suite, will help people see and connect with the work we do without causing stress and fear in our patients (injured wildlife need a lot of privacy to feel safe). Landscaping and displays, both inside and out, will feature techniques for living with and supporting native wildlife in our backyards. With a new, dedicated space upstairs for hotline volunteers, our reception volunteers can fully focus on admitting patients and creating an impactful experience for each and every visitor.

4. A more sustainable building that aligns with our conservation goals!

We are excited to use this opportunity to minimize our impact on the surrounding environment through features like more efficient water fixtures, improved energy efficiency, and bird-safe windows and outdoor lighting. The green roof is one of the most visible and exciting components of this plan, and it will help us better manage stormwater runoff and prevent erosion that could impact sensitive Balch Creek just downhill from the center. The sustainable materials and building techniques we’ll use will not only keep us aligned with our values, but demonstrate what is possible when considerations for wildlife and potential environmental impacts are part of the building process.

5. Improved support and well-being of the WCC personnel!

It takes a lot of people to keep the animals cared for and the center functioning—between 150 and 200 volunteers on average—and the new building will allow us to better support these critical personnel. We’re all looking forward to having a dedicated break space, so staff and volunteers can eat, drink, and sit down (something not possible in the current building), and enough office and desk space for staff (currently five people work out of an office built for one). In addition, the first floor will be ADA compliant and should improve access for volunteers and visitors alike.

If you’d like to help us rebuild the Wildlife Care Center, renew our campus and educational spaces, visit ForPortlandBird Alliance of to learn more and donate to support the capital campaign.