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River Center & Nature’s Kingdom Wildlife Rehab Join Forces to Build Future Home of Wildlife Education

There are a lot of changes trying to be made in the town of Alpena, including the future home of the River Center, here’s more. When you look at Alpena, you probably think about Lake Huron, wildlife, and the people of the community, but do you ever think about preserving the area?

That’s what the River Center Board, formerly known as the Wildlife Sanctuary Board along with Nature’s Kingdom Wildlife Rehab is planning on doing.

Both have joined forces to create a design to preserve wildlife in Alpena.

“We wanted a building that would be designed to have a minimum impact on the environment, and a maximum impact on education, and so the mission now of the River Center is to preserve Thunder Bay River watershed, to protect it and to interpret the watershed,” River Center Representative, Judy Kalmanek said.

The new building will be a place for tours, animal nurseries, and education. One goal for the center is to help rehabilitate sick, orphaned, or injured animals and return them to the wild.

“On the River Center our goal is to have a nursery so the public can come and participate and watch, and learn. We will give classes to teach the community about the nature babies, and to certify as many people as possible to help the community out,” Michelle Sobek, said.

Sobek, President of Nature’s Kingdom Wildlife Rehab has been helping care for wildlife for over 3 years. She said she would create a place so that the community could also join in to help preserve Michigan’s animals.

“There’s nobody else to do it. Nature’s kingdom is the only Northern Michigan…from Alpena up to help. I’m state licensed from the DNR to be able to handle wildlife animal babies, and rehabilitate them so anywhere in Northern Michigan that has a baby they call me and I need help, because there’s too many,” she explained.

Sobek’s assistant, plans to help with classes in the future wildlife educational center. She said the more you can educate people, the better wildlife will be.

“The more we can educate people, the better it will be for those animals. It will help everyone around so that they know what to do, and know who to call if they can’t help, because we need our wildlife, we need animals, the environment needs them, nature needs them to survive,” Heather Schalk revealed.

But with all the hopes and goals of another important community project in Alpena, comes raising a lot of funds. That’s why the River Center, and the Nature’s Kingdom Wildlife Rehab will be hosting an event to benefit the future wildlife, education center on April 14th and 15th at the Ramada Inn.

In Alpena for WBKB News, I’m Star Connor.