Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has helped and cared for nearly 200 different animal species in Boulder County, and this year the center is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
According to the website, the center has 16 licensed rehabilitators from the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.
dr. Alison Hazel began working with Greenwood in 2005, when she moved to Colorado and found an injured bird near her. She brought the bird to Greenwood and later offered her skills as an experienced wildlife veterinarian.
“I moved from upstate New York where they have thousands of animal shelters. Colorado has a handful.” said Hazel.
According to Greenwood’s website, it is the only facility that cares for animals from northern Pueblo to the Wyoming border.
“In the whole totem pole of animal care, common animal species are at the bottom of the hierarchy, and the fact that this team of people is so committed to helping wildlife is so inspiring to me,” Hazel said.
Greenwood opened in 1982, when the Humane Society of Boulder Valley created a nature center in its facility. A year later, the family of Natalie Gneiser — a woman who died trying to save a dog — donated her memorial money to Greenwood to help promote the expansion.
After growing in popularity, the wildlife sanctuary was officially named Greenwood in 1993 – after the first rehabilitated raccoon, Greenwood. In 1997, the veterinary practice center moved to a larger space where cages and better facilities were built for rescued animals.
In 2004, Greenwood opened a thrift store and consignment gallery at 3600 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder to raise money. In 2009, the annual Wild Night for Wildlife event began and the center moved to its current building between Longmont and Lyon.
Amanda Lau, the executive director of Greenwood, moved to Colorado in 2009 and began working with local non-profit organizations, eventually joining Greenwood in 2020.
“As the only animal sanctuary in the entire Front Range that cares for birds, waterfowl and mammals, Greenwood is an incredibly valuable resource,” Lau said. “Greenwood’s goals are twofold: to rehabilitate wildlife, including the treatment and release of sick or injured wildlife and orphaned or abandoned infant animals, and to educate the public to prevent or minimize human-animal interactions. and provide humane solutions when such encounters occur.”
As Greenwood celebrates its 40th anniversary, the support the center has given to wildlife across Colorado continues to grow. Among vets, volunteers and donors, Greenwood hopes to remain a staple within the Boulder community.
“The need to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife has grown as Front Range development has increased, and we have increasingly encroached on wildlife habitat,” said Clyde Mason, graphic designer of Greenwood for the past 30 years. “We all want to keep Colorado in the wild, and we have a responsibility for the wildlife we have displaced and injured. The need for Greenwood will only grow stronger.”