Gifts mean more when they are useful. Want to give a gift that will really make a difference? Here is a list of local parks, nature centers and wildlife rehabbers' greatest needs this holiday season.
There are several ways to donate to one of Chattanooga's oldest nature sanctuaries. A one-time or a recurring donation will help spread holiday cheer and can be made easily online at chattanoogaaudubon.org/donations. There, potential donors can also check out the nonprofit's wish list for specific item donations such as a classroom set of binoculars or folding picnic tables. Or, for a gift that gives back, purchase an annual membership.
Trail crew volunteers are most needed. Maintenance work may include litter cleanup, trail building and/or invasive species removal. Donate your time with a friend or loved one to share in the spirit of the season and support the trails of Lookout Mountain. To sign up, contact volunteer coordinator Will Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 752-5213 ext 137.
Visit the zoo's gift shop to pick a gift off the giving tree in support of the zoo's rehabilitation center and exhibit animals. For example, you can purchase unsalted, assorted nuts for the macaw, a jumbo-block toy set for the chimpanzee, or body spray for the snow leopard, which, when sprayed in her area, stimulates her senses. Each ornament on the giving tree includes the price of the requested item and where you can buy it.
Happinest, which rehabilitates injured songbirds, raptors and mammals, has a long wish list for its everyday needs. Such items can be found on the organization's website and range from avian vitamins to forever stamps to live waxworms. Or, you can donate money directly to the bird rehabilitation program at happinestwildlife.com. Volunteers are also needed to help feed baby birds, squirrels, possums and bunnies.
Help this animal shelter by taking pups on field trips. McKamey's Trailblazer Club allows you to check out a dog for a few hours to take out on the town. Stop by during adoption hours Tuesday-Sunday to check out a dog. You can also purchase items from the center's Amazon wish list at mckameyanimalcenter.org/amazon-wish-list. The biggest needs are listed at the top.