“These experiences would have been lost to me if VINS was unable to provide housing for interns.” – Priya, VINS Intern

The Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) needs your help to continue to bring our exceptional environmental education and wild bird rehabilitation experiences to you and the people of Vermont, New England, and beyond. We’ve been able to fill this role so effectively up until now because of our staff of interns and Americorps members, who bring their unique energy and enthusiasm to their work here at VINS.

You may have seen their programs. You may have brought injured birds to them. Now please show them your appreciation for all their dedication and commitment by contributing to our fundraising campaign to build new housing for their stay here in Quechee.

Internship programs are vital steps of career advancement for any college student. Here they put their education into practice, learning the on-the-ground work and fine-tuning their career plans. Over the years, many have gone on to jobs in wildlife management, environmental science, and natural resource management, to name a few careers. Often internships are unpaid positions; VINS takes the important step of not only paying our interns, but we also provide them housing.

This ability to house our interns is a significant factor in attracting a wide selection of qualified candidates for the limited number of positions we offer every year. We have been fortunate for the last several years to have housing available for our interns across the street from the Nature Center. However, this resource will not be available to us after this year.

Without housing, we are faced with the possibility of losing the edge we have to attract candidates. This could put our Internship Program in jeopardy. That’s why we need your help now!

So, here's the plan: In order to be both economically and environmentally proactive, we are planning to build an energy-efficient house on campus for our interns. You can see plans and drawings of one of the proposed designs in the image library above. This new building will serve several complimentary purposes for VINS and the community:

  • Attract an excellent pool of intern applicants every year
  • Lessen the burden of the internship on the interns themselves, who would otherwise have to provide their own housing in the surrounding towns
  • Provide an exciting educational resource for the campus, as we’ll be able to showcase the buildings unique energy efficient features
  • Enhance the security of the campus and of our other campus residents—the raptors and other birds we care for
  • Reduce our carbon footprint Advance the concept of green building design and its place in conservation
  • House visiting researchers from universities and other institutions while they work on VINS partnership projects on campus and in the area

The entire Intern House project will cost $250,000. This includes designing, planning, permitting, and construction. If we can reach the $50,000 goal of this Razoo fundraiser, we’ll have the solid base we need to complete the preparatory work and help us raise the remaining funds.

But, hey, don’t let us reaching our goal stop you from donating. Every dollar over and above the goal is one less dollar we have to raise elsewhere.

VINS and the Nature Center are enormous resources to the Quechee, Upper Valley, Vermont and New Hampshire, New England, and greater environmental education communities. We simply could not continue our work without the significant efforts of our intern staff. Our current interns -- Neil, Sara, Ashley, Maddie, and Alexa (see them all in action in our videos!) -- make this place hum, by helping us save wild birds and educate minds of all ages about the necessity of taking good care of our wildlife, their habitats, and the planet.

Show them how much their hard work matters by donating today! And tell your friends, families, co-workers, bosses, classmates, teachers, random people in the street, and especially CEOs of large corporations to donate, too!

Check out our videos to see what our interns do and hear them talk about VINS and their experience here. Then please join us in this effort to advance education, a healthy environment, and the careers of our future environmental champions!

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