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Jan 31, 2023

We recorded our conversation today with Felicia Hart, Clarke County's Director of Tourism & Economic Development at Blue Ridge Wildlife Center to learn the details of Clarke County's Groundhog Day happening on Thursday, February 2, 2023 from 9:30am - 11am at Clarke County Fairgrounds. The event is free and open to the pet-free public. Blue Ridge Wildlife Center and Valley Wildlife Care will be co-hosting, with wild animal Ambassadors, information about groundhogs and other wildlife’s winter habits, and, of course, the winter weather prediction at 10am.

Wildlife rehabilitators, Lynn Oliver & Robin Bell with Valley Wildlife Care talked about their experiences as rehabbers and explained their specialties. Valley Wildlife Care is a small network of independent, Virginia and USDA-permitted, in-home wildlife rehabilitators trained in the care of Virginia’s orphaned and injured wildlife. Valley Wildlife Care, Inc.’s mission is to care for injured and orphaned wildlife so that healthy, viable animals can be returned back to the wild; and also to educate the public about VA’s native wildlife so that they will know how to share their space in a safe and healthy way. You can learn more about their work and how to support them on their website: 

Jennifer Burghoffer, Education Manager and Annie Bradfield, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Wildlife Center gave us an overview of their organization and told us about their educational programs & upcoming events.

Blue Ridge Wildlife Center is the only wildlife teaching hospital in northern Virginia, the staff and volunteers of BRWC work to care for native wildlife by integrating veterinary medicine, rehabilitation, education, and research.

The Center began in 2000 with a mission to assist native wildlife through a telephone hotline that offered the public valuable advice to help wildlife that were sick, injured, or orphaned. Five years later, in response to a great need, the Center opened its wildlife rehabilitation center in an 800 sqft. cottage on the Burwell-van Lennep Foundation (BVLF) property. In the summer of 2016, the Center moved out of the cottage into a new 8,700 sqft. hospital facility, also located on the BVLF property.

The Center’s mission includes educating children and adults about the importance of protecting wildlife and their habitat and other related environmental topics. In addition, the Center collects and shares scientific data about local wildlife diseases, environmental toxins, and other threats to native wildlife and the environment. The Center has been growing rapidly since its inception. Requests for their education programs grow steadily each year.

BRWC provides wildlife veterinary and rehabilitation services without any local, state, or federal funding. All funding comes from donors and events. You can give, purchase tickets to events, and learn more about their educational programs on their website: and by following them on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.