SHU senior seminar class presents Mindfulness for Wildlife Wellness

The SHU senior seminar class gathers for a group photo after the presentation with Wildlife Works representative Marsha Osborne and Napoleon, the American kestrel. Photo by L.Cowan/Setonian.

Fran Leap’s senior seminar class researched and constructed an evening event, Mindfulness for Wildlife Wellness, which took place Nov. 16. Over 20 Seton Hill University students and faculty attended the presentation and the animal demonstration and were given the answer to the question: What can you do to help?

Laura Rosner, a senior fine arts major who specializes in painting, took the lead in the project and organized the guest speaker and animal handler from Wildlife Works Inc. for the social action project in their senior seminar class.

“The environment is more important now than ever,” Rosner said. The class had tossed around the idea of two or three smaller projects but decided one larger group project would “have a greater impact” on the Seton Hill community. Everyone was on board for a project focused on the environment and animal wellness.

Wildlife Works was able to bring in three guests to the presentation. Joining the presenters of the senior seminar class was Doc, an eastern box turtle, Hunter the screech owl and Napoleon the American kestrel, who were all rescued but unable to return to the wild due to certain circumstances.

Rosner, as well as Autumn Chiu, Justin Guillory, Adam Sarp and Lauren Grasser each presented a section of information on the variety of wildlife Pennsylvania holds and how to approach an animal if it is in need of help.

“The presentation ended up great, we didn’t even practice it!” Rosner said. “There’s always some improvements you can make if there was a next time, but it turned out pretty well.”

All donations from attendees were collected for Wildlife Works, which is located in Youngwood, Pa.

Rosner has always been interested in volunteering. In high school she started volunteering at Animal Friends of Westmoreland. “I’ve always been into rescuing animals, growing up I rescued quite a few birds.”

“After I was working with dogs and cats, I went off to school,” Rosner said. Once she came to SHU, she began missing volunteering. “I wanted to try something different. I knew of Wildlife Works because my mom worked with someone who volunteered there.”

After volunteering at Wildlife Works in the summer of 2016, Rosner became passionate about the facility, which is run by volunteers and generous donations. “There’s this Hebrew phrase ‘tikkun olam’ which means repair the world, so I feel that’s the way I view the world. A lot of my artwork is related to the earth or caring for the earth.”

Contact Laura Rosner at l.rosner@setonhill.edu if interested in donating products or monetary donations. Wildlife Works Inc. can be found at www.wildlifeworksinc.org or call 724-925-6862 for more information and to volunteer.

Wildlife Works Inc. is always looking for donations. These products can be food items, rehab items or other supplies. Below is a list of items that are often needed to keep the facility running smoothly.

Napoleon settles down as Marsha Osborne explains details about the American kestrel. Photo by L.Cowan/Setonian.

Food Items
-Peanuts in the shells
-Bird seed
-Black oil sunflower
-Canned corn
-Cracked corn
-Scratch feed
-Suet cakes

Rehab Supplies
-Paper towels
-Chlorine bleach
-Laundry detergent
-Leaf rakes
-Facial tissues
-Spic & Span cleaner
-Large black trash bags

Other Supplies
-Postage stamps
-Grocery store gift cards
-Office supply gift cards
-Pet store gift cards
-AAA batteries

Wildlife Protection: What You Should Know

-Stay away from animals such as groundhogs, raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes or coyotes. Even if animals aren’t showing signs of rabies, they could be carrying the disease
-Don’t capture wildlife for pets
-Mothers will leave their young alone during the day so don’t assume the rabbit or fawn is abandoned
-Indoor animals should be watched. They tend to waste their kill rather than feeding from it
-Don’t litter and pick up litter you find
-Recycle and compost
-Conserve water
-When working outside, be mindful of your surroundings such as nests in trees and bushes or wildlife hiding in leaves
-Cut the rings of six-pack holders
-Pick up fishing line
-Avoid pesticides
-Avoid plastic bags as much as possible
-Be cautious when driving
-Don’t feed wildlife besides bird feeders
-If you find an injured animal, contact Wildlife Works Inc. with any questions

Information researched and gathered by the Mindfulness for Wildlife Wellness presenters.

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