For Crandall Bowles, supporting Carolina Raptor Center’s Our Quest Campaign was a natural extension of her family’s lasting commitment to conservation in the Piedmont region.
Crandall Bowles’s mother Anne Springs Close was always “more nature-oriented than city-oriented.” That is why, in 1995, Crandall and her seven brothers and sisters donated over 2,100
acres of family land to create the Anne Springs Close Greenway, a nature preserve in Fort Mill, SC. The Greenway honors Anne’s lifelong commitment to the environment and serves as a natural escape from the encroaching urban development of nearby cities including Fort Mill and Charlotte, NC. The family is also involved in and supportive of many environmental and conservation-focused organizations in the Charlotte region.
Crandall became familiar with Carolina Raptor Center through a partnership with the Greenway. Over the last several years, Crandall has helped to release eight rehabilitated raptors from Carolina Raptor Center, including Red-tailed Hawks and Barred Owls. These events are “very necessary to raise awareness about the conservation of birds of prey,” Crandall said. “I think children get a lot out of the experience.”
Whenever she can, Crandall takes her grandchildren to the Greenway, hoping to instill in them her mother’s passion for environmental conservation and the preservation of natural resources. Bird releases from Carolina Raptor Center hold a special attraction there.
“We watch them hesitate in a tree for a bit and then fly off,” she recounted. “We follow them for a while, until we watch them disappear. To be that close to a wild bird and then to watch it fly away freely is a unique experience.”
Crandall’s support of Carolina Raptor Center is a core part of how she has embraced her mother’s commitment to the environment; her vision is that one day, Mecklenburg County and the surrounding region will become a national destination for environmental conservation and stewardship.
“We should be proud of our local assets and try to enhance ways for people – especially young people – to engage with nature,” she said. “Carolina Raptor Center and the Anne Springs Close Greenway both give kids and young adults the opportunity to get outside and learn about environmental conservation – just thirty minutes away from Trade and Tryon. I think that is very important.”
MAKING THE CHARLOTTE REGION A NATIONAL DESTINATION FOR CONSERVATION
For over 40 years, Carolina Raptor Center has been dedicated to environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey. We have served hundreds of thousands of people and tens of thousands of injured birds both on-site at our campus inside Latta Plantation Nature Preserve and out in a broad geographic region covering areas of North Carolina and South Carolina.
More than 900 injured and orphaned raptors were brought to Carolina Raptor Center’s hospital in 2016. Of the raptors that live longer than 24 hours, approximately 75% are rehabilitated and released back into the wild at throughout the region such as the Anne Springs Close Greenway. A new Raptor Medical Center is an important aim of Our Quest, furthering the Raptor Center’s commitment to the conservation of birds of prey through STEM education, research, and the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors.
Learn more about how you can support Our Quest and help the Charlotte region become a national destination for environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey here.