Pairing adjudicated youth with injured birds of prey is a response to a growing awareness of the need for young people to reconnect to nature, and to have such opportunities as part of the rehabilitation process. In partnership with the forward- thinking vision of DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, these birds offer an access point to engage with the natural world. While this much needed conservation effort is a good idea unto itself, the partnership with youth at risk makes it a brilliant one. The bird sanctuary will be housed in a 100 year old barn on a parcel of land rich with trees, wildlife, and rivers, and conveniently next to New Beginnings, a youth rehabilitation facility for young men between the ages of 15 and 18. Wings Over America is also part of an 880 acre environmental learning center, being created in partnership with the District of Columbia, to serve a greater population of youth in the region, in conservation, education and stewardship.

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A. RAPTOR REHABILITATION AND CONSERVATION

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Raptors – birds of prey that include eagles, hawks, owls, osprey and falcons, are routinely injured due to cars, electrical wires, habitat loss and myriad stresses of living among humans. At present, few raptor facilities focus on reconditioning and release into the wild. Countless birds are euthanized or used for educational purposes, but with care […]

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B. YOUTH REHABILITATION

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Our program brings youth at New Beginnings out of the facility to engage in a daily relationship of service with an injured raptor, being responsible and accountable for the health, daily care and reconditioning of the bird, and ultimately for its successful release. The timeframe for this serious commitment occurs during the last 3 to […]

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C. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

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Much training has already occurred as Greenspur builders engage youth in the restoration of the barn and surrounding buildings. Further, they will be part of the design, renovation and construction of the raptor training center and bird sanctuary. Wings will become a national environmental training campus that teaches, cultivates and inspires a life long conservation […]

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D. ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION IN ACTION

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Wings’ principle partner is the Maya Angelou Academy, housed within New Beginnings. This alternative curriculum is challenging and versatile. A primary focus is on expanding life skills and the completion of high school, while incorporating core principles of empowerment, responsibility and social action. In addition to the rehabilitation of raptors, students of Maya Angelou Academy […]

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