A M.I.C.E Volunteer’s Perspective

One of our awesome M.I.C.E volunteers is also a writer. Check out this amazing piece she wrote about her experience at Greenwood:

As a M.I.C.E. (Most Important Care and Enrichment) volunteer, you enjoy a flexible position which allows you to assist with daily jobs in and around the facility. Pick a weekly shift that fits your needs.

Put your housekeeping, lawn care, plumbing, carpentry or other skills to work for a wonderful cause. Although there is no direct animal contact your efforts are vital to help Greenwood keep the important background action moving smoothly.

My M.I.C.E shift at Greenwood is Tuesday and for my first day I decided to start with laundry, something I’m familiar with, to say the least. And, there was plenty of laundry! All sizes of terry cloth towels and small blue towels filled two washers and two driers. All going full blast. Once I folded several loads and started two more, I emptied trash from bird nursery, squirrel nursery, and animal intake. Sweeping was next, followed by supply stocking. As I turned to leave, a chorus of voices called, “Thank you, very much!”

That’s something you don’t usually hear when housekeeping.

Hard not to love this place right away!

During my next shifts, I met people in each nursery who wanted to share about the lovely wild babies currently in our care.

Remember, M.I.C.E. volunteers do not have direct contact with animals, but it’s still okay to look and ask questions. In fact, the other volunteers have such enthusiasm they love to point out the different species of birds and tell the stories of how squirrel babies arrived. I have already learned so much about the variety of birds and animals in Colorado.

And, some information I learned on my own.

My first day at Greenwood, I carried a load of towels into the waterfowl room. Waterbirds are kept inside until their injuries are healed well enough to transfer to outside cages. As I stood on tiptoe to store towels on shelves, I felt as if I was being watched. Looking behind me, I met the eyes of a gorgeous great blue heron. I made visual contact with this silent species for a few lovely seconds. Later, I found out his breastbone was fractured, probably by a car. Fortunately, with care from Greenwood’s waterfowl experts, he was able to mend and soar away back into his life.

A week later,as I was leaving after my shift, a car pulled up and the driver, a good-hearted lady, showed me a huge Canada Goose sitting peacefully in the back of her vehicle. The beautiful queen of geese had been injured on the road and found her way to the lady’s front porch. Fortunately, due to the skill of Greenwood animal rehabilitators, interns, and volunteers, the goose recovered and was released into her future.

The following week, I was heading for my car as a slightly frazzled woman was wrestling a sagging cardboard box filled with ducklings from her car. This good Samaritan told me the ducklings’ mother had been killed crossing the street with her little family, and the ducklings were retrieved by kind passersby. These lucky ducks enjoyed the shelter of the waterfowl nursery, then were moved to the outside Duck Beach enclosure, and within a few weeks released in a nearby lake. I was told they bobbed in clear, cool water for a few minutes and then turned as a group, sliding into a knot of floating weeds, munching away to their heart’s content.

Now, the second squirrel baby season is in full swing. What great furry critter stories await my next shift? I can’t wait to hear them.

Interested in helping? Greenwood would love to hear from you.

Nancy Doyle

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