CORAL SPRINGS, FL – The families walking the grounds of Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital in Coral Springs this week was a welcome sight for Robin Reccasina.

Reccasina, the center’s executive director, said visitors are much-needed right now to support the organization which has suffered financial challenges due to coronavirus.

“It’s good to see the visitors again,” she said.

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Tuesday was the center’s re-opening to the general public, but the environmental learning center and wildlife hospital for native animals has remained open since the start of the pandemic in mid-March.  

The center’s two full-time and four part-staff employees continued working through the shutdown, caring for birds, possums, and many other animals that have been brought to the center’s hospital for treatment as well as offering environmental programming virtually for children and adults.

The closing came at a time of year when the center has fundraising events and generates significant revenue for the operations, Reccasina said. Three events were canceled or postponed, as well as a spring camp for children.

“It was a bit of a panic when the shutdown started,” she said.

Reccasina said the center, which is celebrating its 25th year of operations, is financially sound for at least a few more months, thanks in large part to grants and the federal employee assistance program.

The summer’s youth camp will be allowed to open on July 6 for children ages 6-12, but it will only have half of the usual enrollment because of coronavirus safety concerns, so that will reduce the center’s revenue as well, she said.

“We’re going month to month right now,” Reccasina said.

She remains hopeful, though, that another fundraiser event will happen later this year and the center’s finances will improve.

In the meantime, Reccasina encourages families to return and support the center.

“We want people to come back and see what we’re all about,” she said.

Admission to the center is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 5 and up, and it’s free for children under age 5.

Learn more about the center here.

 

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