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Where the wild things are: Pacific Wildlife Care raises funds for animal rehabilitation 

click to enlarge WILD ABOUT YOU:  Pacific Wildlife Care seeks to further medical aid for wildlife animals with money raised from the day-long event. - PHOTO BY JEANETTE STONE
  • WILD ABOUT YOU: Pacific Wildlife Care seeks to further medical aid for wildlife animals with money raised from the day-long event.

Imagine the cute potential of a baby cottontail with its leg carefully wrapped in a cast. Or the inspiration of watching a sub-adult black-headed grosbeak released into the wild after several weeks or months of rehabilitative care. Now imagine that you can do something to help the organization that helps these animals.

For the past five years, Pacific Wildlife Care has hosted an annual event, “Windows into Wildlife,” to raise funds for various animal rehabilitation programs and educational services the organization provides. This year’s event features a three-farm tour, a talk from historian Dan Krieger, and wine and hors d’oeuvres at Novo Restaurant with several non-human animals in attendance.

Pacific Wildlife Care is the only non-profit organization with a permit to rehabilitate wildlife in San Luis Obispo. They are solely member and donor supported, and events like “Windows into Wildlife” allow continued community education of the environment and access to medical aid for injured wildlife animals.

Marcelle Bakula, vice president on the board of directors and a member of the “Windows into Wildlife” event committee, believes that this event is a great way for residents in the community to explore a different side of San Luis Obispo, as well as contribute to the organization.

“It’s amazing releasing animals back into the wild,” Bakula said. “Having events like this give us the opportunity to make that happen.”

The event kickstarts with tours of three local, organic farms in the country which include Los Osos Valley Organic Farm, Growing Grounds, and Talley Farms.

Talley Farms is a three-generation, family-owned business, in which family members are actively involved. The farm has more than 1,500 acres of organically grown produce and a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program that distributes seasonal fruits and vegetables to more than 2,200 customers every week. Growing Grounds is a local wholesale nursery that works with local restoration groups to collect seeds and cuttings from the area to ensure genetic diversity. Los Osos Valley Organic Farm practices sustainable farming methods on their land to produce fresh organic fruits and vegetables, with a CSA program of their own.

During the event, local historian Krieger will be in attendance for a talk titled “Farming in SLO County” that presents a historical account of the county’s farming past. The day will conclude at Novo restaurant for wine and hors d’oeuvres with an opportunity to spend time with some rare wildlife animals.

Throughout the event, the main focus of the various tours is to consider how the environment interacts with the health and well-being of wildlife animals, Bakula said.

“We’re trying to tie in wildlife into farm tours,” she said. “No matter what a farmer does, it affects wildlife in some way.”

“Windows into Wildlife” is on Sunday, March 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with opportunities to come later in the day if that’s a better fit for your schedule. Tickets are $110 and also includes a comfortable tour bus and boxed lunch. To sign up, visit or call 543-9453 to leave your number.


Fast fact

Looking for a challenging and fun way to get outdoors this spring? Atascadero Firefighters Association is hosting “Firehouse 5k Run and Health Fair” April 19 at Atascadero Fire Station 1 beginning at 8:30 a.m. The unique 5k race begins at the fire station and incorporates both road and trails with scenic views and various levels of terrain. In addition to the 5k, the event includes a health fair with different health and wellness sponsors present, a kids’ half-mile fun run, and tours of fire station and equipment provided by city firefighters.

All proceeds earned go to the Atascadero Firefighters association, which is a nonprofit that provides financial support to a variety of community organizations.

To register, email or visit their website at

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