Akademe Foundation is a 501(c)(3), see confirmation letter (second page omitted only has IRS agent's signature) for EIN 47-4436560 approved February 2016. Its registered office is at the location of the avian sanctuary project. The IRS reports its online database will be updated to include Akademe Foundation by March 20, 2016. It has tax exempt status dating back to July 7, 2015.Donations for this project are currently accepted via Generosity (preferred due to no hosting fee---but edit donation to Generosity if you do not wish to donate to them as well) and Go Fund Me or:
The site is located north of Casa Grande in the Sonoran Desert. The plan diagrammed above will be applied to the location in these photographs. Notice the stakes are set for a 600 square foot area but the plan is for 1200 square feet. In the plan the stakes are shown as cross-shaped stars. This is still in the planning stages and will naturally require layers of approvals and permits, which should be made simpler by having it built by a professional aviary contractor. The initial cost analysis below assumes exactly that, but of course we need to have formal bids before the numbers actually settle.
Starting at the front of the project (north side) these images go counter-clockwise around the site so you can see every angle. Of course the view will be better for the birds at the higher elevations of their perches.
This is a yard within an enclosed property. The property is surrounded by chain link fence and either oleanders or cacti as natural barriers for non-native intruders, and the latter also for keeping farm animals in. This yard is currently used by a German shepherd who adores birds. Notice security is an element of the Global Federation for Animal Sanctuaries standards. We will be following these as well as other guidelines and standards. The gate leads to where farm animal rescues have typically been housed. Since they died of old age, no other farm animals have been rescued and part of the space can be prepped for a second aviary.
The selected location is ideal because it already has many of the required elements in place, though the mulberry is only 2 for now. Considering its sibling is 6 taller and both are now plugged into irrigation, it should be a healthy size within a couple years. For now, as the picture shows, it is protected by a bird cage and until it is full enough to withstand abuse, it will be protected. Palo verdes provide seeds birds will eat. They also have thorns in their extremities protecting new growth areas, so they are generally safe from parrot abuse and for parrots (see reference). Trees will need to be maintained and supervised closely as they mature because each of these trees will grow to about 30-35 tall and can be just as wide. We are aiming for the hen house to be 8 tall, which is beneath where the branches of these trees will extend.
Capacity varies by species, and there is precious little information to go on here. Chicken coop requirements are 4²/chicken (see reference) giving 988.25²/(4²/chicken)=247 chicken capacity. We are thinking this is better suited for about 100 mixed parrot species, will design the hen house for 120 couples, and continue to investigate this. The fencing at the top, to the right with gate, water systems, and trees are already present and roughly to scale as depicted. There is a non-poisonous sumac industriously growing in the middle of the brush at the top, and it will be allowed to remain. We have to be 7 from the house on the property, so for safety sake we set the proposed aviary 7.5 away from a barn next to the house. This leaves a utility space for maintaining the area around the aviary.
There are two other mulberry trees, one on the other side of the wood fence about 10 from the sumac. The water line going off the image goes to another mulberry that is already about 8 tall. Roughly in line with it and the mulberry inside the aviary is a 12 tall palo verde that is getting ready to fill out. These two trees will be excellent weather breaks and late afternoon shades. The trees inside the aviary will prove somewhat challenging as they grow to maturity since we are only allowed a 20 tall structure.
The project manager for the site is George Yool. For questions on or information for this project you can call him at 520-424-6043. The site location is 17985 West Hopi Drive, Casa Grande, AZ 85122.
Basic costs of main aviary structure with fencing for sound and weather purposes ~$9,220.75. The main cost is the professionally constructed structure based on a 2003 estimate of $7/square foot (see reference). We can assume this was a professional installation cost that includes materials and in all likelihood the costs of both have increased. This can be lowered by limiting professional involvement, but it is doubtful the cost will be lower, especially after sales taxes (yes, charities pay sales/usage tax, they just dont have to legally collect it). Redwood paneling price includes sales tax.
This does not include construction costs for hen house, AC, solar panels for power, additional perches, plants, pond and water system changes as needed to make a functional habitat. It also does not include labor on fencing, likely done by volunteers anyway. One person can easily prep for the wood panels one day and a few days later install them in a day.
Plan B is an alternate location on the same property with only one dying tree that would need to be removed. Pictures of otherwise flt barren land are senseless. If we go with Plan B, then we will certainly provide pictures of the project in progress.Plan B would be easier to manage in the long run because more compact trees that are also viable food source supplements like local Mesquite could be planted, artificial perches could be used, and ground-level food sources could be cultivated. It would pose its own unique challenges because there are no proximal natural shade sources.
Only one Arizona contractor has been identified who does aviaries. We will contact the board of contractors and other institutions with aviaries to see if we can find others. It is preferably to have multiple bids, and we will be sure to have bids made for both plans.
Plan C is a scalable evolving system. In this plan we build a 200 sq ft aviary positioned as if we are building the 1200 sq ft aviary. A second aviary is then built to the same specs 10' away. We can then begin to conjoin them at minimal additional cost and with minimal zoning issues. We are now pricing materials for both plans.
This plan has multiple advantages, especially given the trees we are looking at, which can lower the ceiling to 12'. Not only can we build each aviary for about $1500 + ammenities, we can prep the other areas in advance while the population grows and get accreditation by Global Federation worked out opening doors to other finance options (e.g. grants).
Birds are wonderful little people, and the typical parrot is equivalent to a 3-6 year old human child. They require 24/7/365.25 up to 120 years TLC and deserve to have the best we can offer them. Domestic birds are the most misunderstood, demanding, abandoned or otherwise displaced of our pets. They need a habitat, friends, and bird things to do. We want a safe place for them to recover from traumas and live out their lives happily and responsibly.
For over a decade this particular site has been providing sanctuary for homeless domestic animals, rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing wildlife. Between March 2013 and May 2014, three parrots were provided sanctuary. Short of compromising a best environment for them, and without professional facility, they are a significant handful. they become attached and dependent to a degree hazardous to their well-being.
The advantage of professional facilities is limiting the ability of the birds to attach to specific caretakers, and enabling them to live enriched lives making friends and doing bird things with other birds. With the proper facilities, this location can make itself known and provide a proper sanctuary to displaced domestic birds.
The key objective is to establish a parrot sanctuary, a forever home. Sanctuary conditions must meet or exceed the standards and practices of avian sanctuaries. If we can't serve their best interests, we are doing the wrong thing. As such we will actively pursue appropriate accreditations. We will not participate in or endorse any activities involving the breeding or selling of birds.
Our ideal sanctuary conditions would be self-sustaining with minimal impact on the native habitat. We already see that outside assistance and resources are very limited and unreliable. As such, we want our facilities to grow as much of their own food as possible, preferably in ways directly accessible to the birds so they can behave more naturally. Of course we cannot provide the ideal conditions since these are tropical animals and this is a seasonal environment. But we can adapt and minimize need for external resources.
We are already working to establish relationships with other rescues, sanctuaries, animal control agencies, and non-profits. Philanthropy is not a competition. It is a cooperation. We will share our successes and failures so everyone can learn and improve the services we provide. Since this project has only just begun, we have no formal history to disclose. We are committed to transparency.
We do not reject the notion of adoption, but only under ideal conditions where we can be assured of an appropriate sanctuary. We want to encourage prospective bird owners to volunteer at a sanctuary, know what they are getting into, have a relationship with the bird, and can provide for what the bird really needs. We do not see these conditions being the norm, but rather the exception. The reality is, these birds will live out the rest of our lives here. We just don't want to rule out what can be in the best interests of the bird when it is not our sanctuary.
The Avian Rescue Project of Akademe Foundation shall provide sustainable sanctuary conditions for displaced domestic birds not classifiable as farm animals. This includes but is not limited to parrots, macaws, parakeets, doves, finches, crows, pet raptors, and non-native birds. When possible, native birds who can be rehabilitated and released shall be.
March 5, 2016: The trigger for this project was pulled two days ago. In this brief time we have observed a surprising lack of interest and low availability of grants to assist in actualizing the project. We will continue to pursue these avenues as the plan solidifies. We would prefer to have community support and do things formally. The need is there, we are patient, resourceful, and not beneath just making it happen.
If you cannot contribute resources or information, then by all means contribute by putting the word out and showing you care. We can all make a difference if we can at a minimum show we care. To those who already have contributed in any way, we thank you deeply and want you to know this will succeed one way or another.
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Feel free to e-mail if you have questions or for further information.
PVC coated 16 gauge meshc quotes for two different size aviaries. The PVC coating may not be ideal for parrots. Will investigate stainless and galvenized options:
16-gauge, galvanized welded wire. Dimensions: 36" x 100', 1" x 1/2" mesh=$199.99x14=2,799.86+tax (4200 sq ft) or x4=799.96.
Trees that can stay reasonably under 15' local: