Our mission is to rehabilitate orphaned, sick and injured wildlife for release into appropriate habitats. Greenwood also strives to educate the public, emphasizing humane solutions to human/wildlife interactions.
Founded in 1982, Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center was initially a small, one-room offshoot of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV). 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 by 20-30% each year. Meanwhile, as Boulder grew, ensuring a quiet and secure environment for wild animals to recover became increasingly difficult.
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 of incorporation, Greenwood was operating out of a veterinarian's office in north Longmont.
In 1997, Greenwood secured a lease from Boulder County for the 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 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 supporters. Greenwood moved into this building in early 2009.
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, have consistently grown as well.
We've continued to expand our facility by building a waterfowl enclosure in 2017. We added a new crow aviary and finished renovations to our existing fox enclosure in 2019. These improvements allow us to care for more orphans and treat them for longer periods of time instead of transferring them at an early age to other rehabilitators.
An important component of our mission is education and outreach, teaching about the importance of protecting Colorado's natural fauna as well as finding humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts. Greenwood's community outreach programs have been growing steadily and have readily adapted to the recent push toward virtual media.
Since its inception, over 200 different species have been rehabilitated at Greenwood. With only a small year-round staff, the majority of personnel needed to operate the Center include the volunteers, interns, and seasonal employees who work diligently from March through October caring for up to 500 animals each day. Greenwood currently has 16 rehabilitators licensed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and our success rate remains high as we all work together. As the only Rehabilitation Center 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. Despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020 and the global coronavirus pandemic, Greenwood remains steadfast as an essential service providing care and rehabilitation to wildlife in need.
"We all share this beautiful place with our diverse wildlife neighbors, and it's inevitable that some of us will encounter one that has been injured. We were just so impressed with Greenwood's dedication and their caring expertise and help when we brought them our injured dove. So if you ever find yourself faced with injured wildlife, please consider contacting them. They know exactly what to do and do it so well. We are very lucky to have them nearby." - Julie Stewart-Pollack, Donor
"Greenwood came out to our center and put on a great informative puppet show for our children. They also brought different animal and nature materials for them to explore. They loved it and learned so much about the wildlife in the surrounding area. These guys are awesome!" - Nicole Honstien, Preschool Teacher
"My experience at Greenwood was amazing and taught me so much! The staff is so patient, but allows you to be independent and makes you feel like you are part of the team. Being a part of Greenwood was a fun experience but nothing beats the rewarding feeling of saving an animals life!" -Madison Beran, former Intern
"Being at Greenwood and doing what I can to help the animals fills my soul with joy. AND, I get different experiences and opportunities by helping during the off-season. By coming in each week, I get to stay involved with what's going on with the animals…who is making progress, who has moved outside, who got released. Plus, the staff are very appreciative, and it makes me happy to help them in any way I can!" -Michelle Becker, Volunteer
"It (comparing internships) definitely makes me recognize how good of a job Greenwood does with teaching, answering questions, and creating a friendly environment!" -Madeleine Westbrook, former Intern
"Knowledgeable and caring. Transported a baby raccoon to them this morning and I left knowing that the baby was in good hands." - Jody Murphy, Rescuer
"I am passionate about animals and want to help the ones right here in my community. I came across Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on Colorado Gives Day as I was looking for animal organizations to support. This lead me to your Facebook page and a video compilation of all the animals you helped last season. It filled my heart with so much joy to see all of those healthy animals released back into the wild to live out their lives. I want so much to be a part of that." - Tabitha LaRose, Member of the Public before she became an Intern and Volunteer