Nov 6, 2023

Solar Flight Pen Breaks Ground

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DCHS's Wildlife Center staff share an update on the Solar Flight Pen Project.

Construction always has its setbacks, and in Spring 2023, the City of Madison Zoning process significantly delayed the start date for building our largest-ever (100-foot) flight pen. However, after many months (and years) of hard work, these permits have finally been approved. We are excited to announce that foundation prep-work is underway, with several steps yet to go, and the project is moving forward.

None of this would be possible without support from our leadership team, donors, and multiple grants, so thank you to all who helped along the way!

The project has been re-named the “Solar Flight Pen Project” to indicate its hybrid status as both a raptor rehabilitation enclosure and a source of renewable energy. The flight pen will include 120 feet of flight space and be in an L-shape design that is ideal for Bald Eagles and other birds of prey. Solar panels will make up the roof of the flight pen, and there will be a divider in the center to separate patients.

Contractors are also working behind the scenes to install a solar battery system in the main shelter, and additional solar panels have been placed on the Wildlife Center’s roof to provide extra power.

Our goal is to create a functional enclosure to benefit wildlife in rehabilitation and bridge the gap between wildlife rehabilitation and the renewable energy sector. We can do this by conserving species and energy, and staff hope that DCHS will be a model for other animal shelters to replicate. Look forward to more updates on this project!

Top photo: Solar panels have been installed on the roof of DCHS's Wildlife Center.

Paige Pederson is the Wildlife Operations Supervisor at DCHS’s Wildlife Center.

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