Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has helped and cared for nearly 200 different species of animals around Boulder County, and this year the center is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
According to its website, the center has 16 rehabilitators licensed by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.
Dr. Alison Hazel began working with Greenwood in 2005, when she moved to Colorado and found an injured bird in her neighborhood. She brought the bird to Greenwood and later offered her skills as a seasoned wildlife veterinarian.
“I moved from upstate New York, where they have thousands of wildlife rehabilitators. Colorado has a handful.” Hazel said.
According to Greenwood’s website, it is the only facility providing care for wildlife from north of Pueblo to the Wyoming border.
“In the whole totem pole of animal care, the common wildlife species are at the bottom of the hierarchy, and the fact that there’s this team of people who are so devoted to helping wildlife is so inspiring to me,” Hazel said.
Greenwood opened in 1982, when the Humane Society of Boulder Valley created a wildlife center within its facility. A year later, the family of Natalie Gneiser — a woman who died trying to rescue a dog — donated her memorial funds to Greenwood to help further the expansion.
After growing in popularity, in 1993 the wildlife sanctuary was officially named Greenwood — after its first rehabilitated raccoon, Greenwood. In 1997, the center moved out of veterinary offices and into a larger space where cages and better facilities were built for rescued animals.
In 2004 Greenwood opened a thrift shop and consignment gallery at 3600 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder to raise money. In 2009 the annual Wild Night for Wildlife event started, and the center moved to its current building between Longmont and Lyons.
Amanda Lau, Greenwood’s executive director, moved to Colorado in 2009 and began working with local nonprofit organizations, eventually finding herself with Greenwood in 2020.
“As the only wildlife rehabilitation center on the entire Front Range caring for birds, waterfowl and mammals, Greenwood is an incredibly valuable resource,” Lau said. “The goals of Greenwood have been twofold: rehabilitation of wildlife, including the treatment and release of sick or injured wildlife and orphaned or abandoned baby animals, and education of the public to prevent or minimize human-wildlife interactions and provide humane solutions when such encounters occur.”
As Greenwood celebrates its 40th year anniversary, the support that the center has given wildlife throughout Colorado is still growing. Between veterinarians, volunteers and donors, Greenwood hopes to continue to be a staple within the Boulder community.
“The need for rescuing and rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife has grown as development of the Front Range has grown, and we’ve increasingly encroached on wildlife habitat,” said Clyde Mason, Greenwood’s graphic designer for the past 30 years. “We all want to keep Colorado wild, and we have a responsibility to the wildlife we’ve displaced and injured. The need for Greenwood will only grow stronger.”