Defining Who We Are

by | Oct 4, 2019 | News | 0 comments

We have a lot to be thankful for this fall! This summer we received the largest single donation in the Preserve’s 15 year history. Steve Smyth donated a whopping $25,000 in August! Its humbling but also energizing to know how much our community values what we’re doing.

Steve and I have spoken a lot over the last year about what a donation like this would mean for us. One of the most important things was that this donation would be a signal to the rest of our community. It is a signal that the Preserve is entering a new, exciting phase of growth. It is a signal that the Preserve is ready for this kind of support.

Donation presentation by Steven Smyth to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve preceding the 8th Annual 5Km Fun Run fundraiser for Wildlife Rehabilitation. Pictured from Right to Left: Board of Director Member Melissa Croskery, Kirk Cameron, Vice President Shawna Warshawski, donor Steven Smyth, President Alexandra Tait and Executive Director, Jake Paleczny

 If that’s not enough to convince you, I think the new master plan (along with the supporting business plan and marketing plan) will! It’s all starting to come together into a cohesive, exciting vision for the next 10-15 years. We’ve got an incredible site, staff and history to work with. We’re thinking hard about how to make the experience better – as well as the role we’ll play in our community. Of course the trick is to make sure we don’t compromise the best parts of who and what we are.

So what is a “Preserve” then? We know we sometimes struggle to explain what we’re all about. “Preserve” might be a bit ambiguous, but it also means we have an opportunity to define it ourselves. So let me try this out on you:

A preserve is an enclosed area of wilderness left largely untouched, where the animals native to the area are protected, cared for and free to roam their natural habitats. This allows people to safely and respectfully get close to the wildlife, to learn about them and grow in understanding and appreciation.

I’d love to hear your thoughts? Does it align?

Drop me a line at – I’d love to hear from you!

Jake Paleczny

Jake Paleczny

Executive Director

Jake Paleczny is passionate about interpretation and education. He gained his interpretative expertise from a decade of work in Ontario’s provincial parks in addition to a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. His interests also extend into the artistic realm, with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario and extensive experience in galleries and museums.


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