North American Falconry and Conservation Center
The art of falconry is an arduous endeavor to take wild quarry in its natural habitat by means of a trained raptor. Though falconry has been practiced for centuries, many of the struggles the sport faces today are relevant to current environmental and societal issues, such as preservation of habitat, resource management and cultural heritage. The Falconry Fund Inc. (TFF), in cooperation with the North American Falconers Association (NAFA), are working to address these struggles by creating the North American Falconry and Conservation Center (NAFCC).
The NAFCC will be a gathering place for falconers and the general public to protect, preserve, educate and communicate year-round. It will provide a permanent, physical home [which] is required to entrench falconry as a lasting part of North America’s intangible cultural heritage and ensure its future, according to UNESCO. Designed for a combination of presentation styles, the NAFCC will have spaces for live falconry demonstrations; static and interactive exhibits reflecting natural and cultural history, sporting life, conservation, and art; as well as meeting rooms and a lecture hall to accommodate professional conferences. Staff members, such as licensed, practicing falconers and trained science and research experts who support TFF and NAFA goals, will be well-positioned to cater to a variety of needs. Visitors will be immersed in a relaxed and entertaining environment that will promote awareness of falconry and conservation – and provide information on how they can help.
The pleasant setting of The North American Falconry and Conservation Center will provide a physical aspect that cannot be had virtually. The feeling of a hawk lifting off from the fist of someone whose interest in falconry has been piqued. The camaraderie of a fellow falconer with stories to swap. Falconry equipment and merchandise that can be handled and inspected in person, rather than ordered online. The taste of a food truck’s new recipe for game or foraged produce. The vivid colors of a painting developing before your eyes by an artist-in-residence. The scent of the plants on the property that are examples of what can be cultivated to help re- establish lost habitat.
What makes the NAFCC so important? Well, the truth is, while we at The Falconry Fund and NAFA have many dedicated and capable participants, the larger issues need much larger participation.
Our initial fundraising goal is set at $2 million. This will allow us to purchase the 320 acres of land (1/2 section), construct the main building, and hire staff. The initial construct would also have several outbuildings, such as, mews and weathering yard space for the trained raptors to be housed at the center. Most importantly, the main building would be designed for future expansion as the NAFCC grows though time. Ultimately, we envision a 15,000 square foot facility on approximately 1000 acres of land at a total estimated $8 million. With this, we can ensure the center’s survival into perpetuity.