bald eagle

WaterLine photo by Capt. Josh Olive

You don’t call, you don’t visit — of course he’s going to yell at you.

2020 has been _____. Fill in the blank with whatever word you are comfortable. I’m afraid if I fill in that blank with my word choice, my esteemed publisher will have no choice but to edit me severely.

While the exhibits at Peace River Wildlife Center have been closed to the public since March, we have been taking in patients the entire time at our new hospital location (223 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Punta Gorda). It has been a hectic and challenging time and we are in need of volunteers in many capacities — so if you have any time to spare, please contact our office to schedule training.

We are pleased to announce our exhibit location at Ponce de Leon Park (3400 Ponce de Leon Pkwy., Punta Gorda), will re-open with guided tours beginning Friday, Sept. 4, to coincide with Labor Day weekend. The only way to visit the Center for now is by reserving a guided tour.

Tours must be limited to no more than nine guests to conform with the CDC recommendation of gatherings of no more than 10 people. While we are an outdoor facility, we don’t have a great deal of space for proper social distancing, so masks are mandatory.

All guests will be required to wear facial coverings while touring the center, except for children under the age of two. All tour participants will receive a PRWC-branded, reusable cloth mask. Thirty-minute tours will be led by volunteer guides, and the gift shop will be open for those guests.

Admission into the Center has always been by a suggested $5 donation to tour the facility at your leisure. This policy will be reinstated in the future.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Center to close its doors to the public in late March, causing considerable financial losses. Since visitor donations and gift shop purchases comprise essentially all the Center’s operating funds, the following fees will be temporarily necessary: $10 for adults; $5 for children 5 to 17; free for kids 4 and under.

To keep staff, volunteers, guests, and resident animals as safe as possible, the Center will be opening on a limited basis with safety restrictions for tours.

“We will also have at least one of our educational ambassadors greeting guests during every tour,” said Callie Stahl, executive director of the Peace River Wildlife Center. It is our goal to offer our supporters a personalized opportunity to view Peace River Wildlife Center’s residents in the safest fashion possible during these trying times.”

Tours will be offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Mondays. To make reservations, contact Tammy Gerringer at 941-637-3830 or PeaceRiverWildlife@yahoo.com between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday. For more information about the Center, visit PRWildlife.org, and for the latest news, connect with us on Facebook at http://bit.ly/3PxXccn.

In other exciting news, The Yoga Sanctuary is kicking off their annual celebration of National Yoga Month. This year, TYS has again designated PRWC as the beneficiary of their practitioners’ generosity.

The Yoga Sanctuary is located at 112 Sullivan Street, Punta Gorda. For more information about the Yoga Month Challenge, contact them at 941-505-YOGA (9642) or email them at Info@TheYogaSanctuary.biz.

Peace River Wildlife Center is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to the care, preservation and protection of Charlotte County’s native wildlife since 1978. PRWC receives no government funding and relies entirely on private donations. Injured, abandoned or orphaned native wild animals are accepted at the center’s care facility (223 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Punta Gorda) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more info, visit PRWildlife.org, email PeaceRiverWildlife@yahoo.com or call 941-637-3830.

Peace River Wildlife Center is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to the care, preservation and protection of Charlotte County’s native wildlife since 1978. PRWC receives no government funding and relies entirely on private donations. Injured, abandoned or orphaned native wild animals are accepted at the center’s care facility (223 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Punta Gorda) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more info, visit PRWildlife.org, email PeaceRiverWildlife@yahoo.com or call 941-637-3830.

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