In 1982, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) founded a wildlife rehabilitation center at their facility. One year later, the family and friends of Natalie Gneiser, a young woman who was killed while trying to rescue an injured dog on the highway, donated memorial funds to this cause, allowing the center to expand to help more patients.
During the next 14 years, the number of animals brought to the Center for care increased 20 – 30% each year. Meanwhile, the City of Boulder grew around HSBV, and it became increasingly difficult to provide a quiet and secure environment for recuperating animals.
In March 1993, the Center incorporated due to its continuous growth and was named Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary (officially renamed “Center” in 2008). Greenwood was the name of the Center’s first rehabilitated raccoon, which had been burned in a chimney fire. At the time, Greenwood was operating out of a veterinarian’s office in north Longmont.
In 1997, Greenwood secured a lease from Boulder County for property on Highway 66 between Longmont and Lyons. For the next 10 years, it operated out of two modular units on this site. Caging was built for raccoons, songbirds, squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, and foxes.
In 2006, Greenwood began to address the need for a new facility, which had been a dream for many years and was badly needed. In 2007, the Center received a contribution to purchase the previously leased property plus an additional 1.5 acres. Another large contribution provided funds to help build a new, state-of-the-art facility, with donations coming from many other donors.
Greenwood moved into the new building in early 2009. This great step forward was a testament to the commitment of Greenwood’s supporters and the broader community to provide the best care possible for orphaned and injured wildlife.
Fundraising efforts and the annual budget continued to increase with the addition of a Thrift Shop in 2004 and an annual major event, Wild Night for Wildlife, in 2009. In 2012, Greenwood relocated the Thrift Shop and expanded its retail efforts to include a Consignment Gallery, the only nonprofit store of its kind in Boulder County. Education and outreach programs, the other important component of Greenwood’s mission, continue to grow.
Since inception, nearly 200 different species have been rehabilitated at Greenwood. With only a small year-round staff, the majority of personnel needed to operate the Center are the more than 500 volunteers, interns, and seasonal employees who work diligently from March through October caring for up to 500 animals a day. Greenwood currently has 16 rehabilitators licensed by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and our success rate remains high. As the only facility providing care for a wide variety of species from north of Pueblo to the Wyoming border, Greenwood provides leadership to the wildlife rehabilitation community throughout Colorado and the nation.