Star Eco Station is a charitable, non-profit volunteer organization that rescues and cares for exotic animals. The organization runs outreach programs and other extracurricular activities aimed mainly at children and families that teach about the animals and environmental sciences and allow children hands-on experience with the animals, as well as tours of their museum. The organization has won awards for their summer camp programs, educational programs, and museum.
See also other local services & organizations.
Star Eco Station's motto is "Preservation through Education," which speaks to the organization's goal of helping animals and the environment by teaching children about them and about good habits that help care for the environment. To that end, the organization keeps the animals they rescue in an interactive and educational museum aimed at children that is fun as well as informative.
Animals and Exhibits
Sometimes, people attempt to keep wild and exotic animals as pets, but lack the money, time, or resources necessary to do so. These animals are usually confiscated by the SPCA or the California Department of Fish and Game. However, the exotic animals that are confiscated need a place to go that does have the resources to take care of them, which is where Star Eco Station comes in. Star Eco Station works closely with the Sacramento SPCA and the Department of Fish and Game, and if those organizations lack the resources or the space to take care of an exotic animal, Star Eco Station provides a (often permanent) home for it. Sometimes, people personally give animals to the organization as well.
Star Eco Station cares for many exotic animals, including different species of reptiles, birds, fish, and insects. The animals are kept in the museum in display enclosures and terrariums divided by theme into interactive exhibits; for example, the fish are housed in a marine-themed exhibit with interactive parts that teach about ocean conservation. During its open hours, visitors can take interactive walking tours to see the animals in the exhibits and to learn about environmental conservation and about the dangers of keeping exotic animals as pets.
Star Eco Station arranges outreach and after-school programs and field trips for schools to teach children about the exotic animals they rescue, as well as environmental science and conservation. The organization does similar programs for local businesses and other organizations who contact them. They also appear at community events such as the State Fair and local events in Rocklin.
The organization offers themed summer camps that allow children (about 1st grade through 6th grade) to care for the animals personally. Participants are not only allowed to handle the animals, but they also feed them and clean their cages. The participants learn about the environment the animals come from, facts about the animals, and participate in various educational arts-and-crafts and games.
The organization accepts volunteers of any age, though volunteers younger than 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers must attend a volunteer orientation, which is held on the second Sunday of every month. Volunteers can care for the animals, run special events such as birthday parties, run tours, and teach in outreach programs. After 55 hours of service, volunteers may attend a special training session that trains them in how to care for certain animals.
Star Eco Station receives its funding from grants, fundraising events, and donations. Since Star Eco Station is a non-profit organization, any money they make goes towards feeding the animals; therefore, donations are important to keep the animals happy and the organization running. They accept donations in either money or goods. According to an organization with an Eco Staff volunteer, the organization especially needs towels and materials for bird toys, which can be made from many household items; for example, toilet paper rolls can be stuffed with newspaper and bird feed to create a toy that allows the birds to rip open the cardboard to find a "surprise." The organization also accepts cages and fish tanks. For more information visit: http://www.campgroup.com
Other useful goods include:
- Gel Hand sanitizers
- Fresh food such as fruit, green vegetables, eggs, unshelled and unsalted nuts,
- Nolvasan cleaner
- Health supplements for birds and reptiles
- Ropes, tie downs, and bungee cords
- Gallon containers of Simple Green
- Scrub brushes
- Large extension cords
- Gallon containers of vinegar
- 30 Gallon Trash Bags
- Office supplies
- Gift certificates for local hardware stores, feed stores, and grocery stores