Delafield Animal Care Center Receives Grant to Help Endangered Monarchs
Colorful, shaded canopies cover picnic tables, horses graze in expansive pastures, and children crowd intently around their camp counsellor.
New additions to the Schallock Center for Animals in Delafield make it unrecognizable from how the land looked when the center opened a year ago.
Whether you’re hopping on a golf cart for a tour of the center from Alexis Breese, Human Education Manager, or getting to know the friendly big horses from Lucy Kowalski, Trainee Barn Manager, it’s clear that the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha took full advantage of the land donated by HAWS founding member Mike Schallock and his wife, Jane.
After:‘It’s breathtaking’: HAWS’ new animal care center in Delafield includes a large barn for horses and will soon offer a private dog park
“It’s grown tremendously, and so far I think all the visions we had have become a reality,” said communications and media specialist Jen Smieja.
The 25-acre property at W330S1205 Highway C was donated to promote animal welfare, and HAWS has not forgotten even the smallest creatures.
The center registered as a monarch crossing station in 2022, planting milkweed to facilitate the migratory journey of monarch butterflies. This month, the Waukesha Rotary Club received a $3,000 grant from Rotary District 6270 to help HAWS plant more pollinating plants and eradicate invasive plant species buckthorn.
Monarch butterflies were added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species in July, reinforcing the importance of the grant, Schallock’s activities coordinator Mackenzie Fink said.
HAWS will consult with a horticulturist to decide which types of plants will be best for pollinators, Smieja said.
“These pollinator gardens that we are creating are very useful,” Smeija said.
At its most basic, the grant seems simple, Smeija said, but recognition of its importance by the Rotary Club makes her optimistic about the center’s future.
“For us, that means it’s something that people want and consider being part of, and they see that we’re doing good things here,” Smeija said.
Volunteers will help plant pollinator refuges. While the volunteer recruitment process is still ongoing, members of the Waukesha Rotary Club have volunteered to lend a hand.
Since the center opened, partner groups such as Wisconsin Hero Outdoors, Generac Volunteer Groups and students from Carroll University have offered to help, Smeija said.
“The initial contact was very popular, very positive, talking to (volunteer groups) about how it’s going to work,” Smeija said. “And something like that, the impact of something like that, is more fun than just going out and pulling weeds.”
The grant will also be used to plant shrubs for privacy, out of respect for the property’s neighbors, Smeija said.
HAWS has been in Waukesha County since 1965 and began as the go-to place to drop off strays. What has been made possible by the 25 Acres is an example of how the organization has become an integral part of the community, she said.
The grant will be used “as soon as possible,” she said, but planning is still in its early stages. Those interested in volunteering should contact Fink at 262-542-8851 or [email protected]