Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary celebrates 85 years of wildlife and education


GREEN BAY, WB (WBAY) – The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary celebrates 85 years of education, rehabilitation and fun this Saturday.

Starting at 10 a.m., the public is invited to feed the wolves, eat cakes, and participate in various free programs.

“I think it’s an impressive achievement to be a standard in Green Bay and Wisconsin, and even in parts of the northeast,” said Kim Diedrich, chief naturalist for the sanctuary.

The sanctuary came into being in 1929, when the town of Green Bay purchased 250 acres next to the Bay Beach Amusement Park with the intention of building a golf course.

However, concerned citizens believed the space would serve better as a sanctuary and developed the concept of a wildlife refuge.

1936, the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary was founded. A membership fee of 50 was charged to raise funds and the first pond was dug by hand. Over the next few years, heavy equipment was donated and 100 men worked for two years to dig the current lagoon system.

“It’s just a really special place, you can spend a whole day or a few hours there,” said James Andersen, deputy director of Green Bay Parks and Recreation.

Diedrich said that although the shrine has undergone many changes over the years, it has never escaped its mission to bring humans closer to nature.

“We share space with them and in some cases we encroach on their space, so we have to respect nature and take care of wildlife, it’s here,” Diedrich said. “Maybe you think bats are scary or possums aren’t the most attractive, well, they have their place.”

The program of Saturday events includes:

10:00 am: Welcome by Mayor Genrich

10:15 a.m .: Live Birds of Prey program

11:00 am: Cake

11:00 am – 2:00 pm: Creatures counter open to the observation building

12:00 p.m .: Storytelling and hand drum music with friends of the Oneida Nation

1:30 p.m .: Wolf feeding program

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