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.
It all started in 1982 when the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) founded a wildlife rehabilitation center. Two years 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. Subsequently, the center was named after her - the Natalie Gneiser Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
During the next 14 years, the number of animals brought to the Center increased 20 - 30% annually. Meanwhile, the City of Boulder expanded around HSBV, and it became difficult to provide a quiet and secure environment for recuperating animals.
In March 1993, the Center incorporated and changed its name to Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary to reflect its mission and the continual growth of the organization. Greenwood was the name of the first raccoon that was rehabilitated after being burned in a chimney fire.
A second major change came in 1997 when Greenwood secured a lease for property between Longmont and Lyons. For the next 10 years, Greenwood operated out of two modular units at this site. Caging was built for raccoons, birds, squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, and foxes.
In 2006, a building committee began to address the need for a new facility - a dream of Greenwood for many years and something that was badly needed. In 2007, the Center received a substantial contribution from a donor to purchase the previously leased property on Highway 66 plus an additional 1.5 acres. Another large contribution provided funds to help with a new building, with donations coming from many other supporters during the ensuing capital campaign.
Construction began in 2008 with completion in early 2009. This new facility was a great step forward as well as a testament to the commitment of Greenwood's supporters and the community to provide hope for injured and orphaned wildlife.
Fundraising efforts and the annual budget have continued to increase with the addition of a thrift store in 2004 and an annual major event, Wild Night for Wildlife, in 2009. In 2012, we moved our thrift store and opened a consignment gallery. Educational programs, the other important component of the Greenwood mission, grow each year.
Since our inception 36 years ago, Greenwood has rehabilitated and released tens of thousands of animals back into the wild, representing nearly 200 different species.
"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
"I love what we're doing here (at Greenwood). I love to see the interns get immersed in it. It's a great experience for me, and you guys do a great job with the animals and the people." -Ted Dewald, Volunteer
"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