Many of you may already know about the destructive weather in the Huntington area which caused substantial damage to many homes and habitats on July 3rd.
The good news is that the Birds of Vermont Museum’s buildings and collection were untouched.
Unfortunately, the torrential downpours last Wednesday afternoon, July 3rd, turned the normally serene streams through the property converged to create a roiling fury as the water rushed to the roadway. Sherman Hollow Road disappeared beneath a wide swath of water which tore into the runoff basin and over the paths to the Museum entrance and the bridge below. Three staff members, two children, and Bob Spear himself watched from the entrance doors as the flash flood sent one culvert down the surging rapids, caused trees to slide off their banks, and tumbled rocks together in thunderous chaos. Sherman Hollow Road was covered and breached by the water in several places, so it was well after closing time when we were permitted to walk to Main Road and meet our family and friends—leaving our cars behind until the roads were passable. (We have an online album if you’d like to see more: Flood 2013)
Please help us recover: donate if you can
Despite plans to close the Museum for a day or two while Sherman Hollow Road could be repaired, and an alternate route from the parking lot to the entrance could be designated, the visitors came anyway! The Museum has become a favorite destination for friends hosting out of town guests and nature-lovers alike. Even a flash flood couldn’t keep them away on a holiday week and for this we are grateful … we’d rather have a flood of people any day!
However, the truth is: the Museum faces a number of clean-up and repair challenges, from tree removal, stream bank restoration, electrical rewiring, new Museum access design and construction, and restoration of affected walking/birding trails. More needs will surely arise as the layers of debris and mud are scraped away.
In order to recover, the Museum requires funds for services which will address these challenges. We are looking at possible state and federal sources, along with private foundation support. We are are also making an appeal for financial contributions from our members and our community to help the Museum provide our visitors with attractive, accessible, and safe grounds for their visits to this unusual and inspiring institution.
Whether you have have $5 or $5000, all of it is helpful (and tax-deductible to the extent the laws allow). We also have volunteer opportunities if you have time or if you prefer, and we’re open for visits and programs too! If you can, please pass the word along. Thank you!
We have enabled online donations through JustGive, Network For Good, and PayPal (use your favorite). Checks and donations by telephone/credit card are always welcome. Please follow us online (blog or facebook or twitter or google-plus) for more information and photos. And please help. At the moment, everything will go into our “Rainy Day Fund” but we will keep you posted with clearer or more specific projects and allocations.
Thank you so much.
Bob, Erin, Allison and Kir