Walnut Creek institution Lindsay Wildlife Experience is going to be around town for at least another 30 years.
The education center and wildlife rehabilitation center recently reached an agreement with the city to stay at its First Avenue location, adjacent to Larkey Park, for another three decades.
The Walnut Creek City Council officially signed off on the new deal March 1, which includes two 10-year options that could extend the lease 50 years, until 2072.
"This long-term partnership with the city of Walnut Creek provides a stable foundation for us to carry out and grow our mission of connecting people with wildlife to inspire environmental stewardship," said Lindsay Board President Janet Kozlowski, in a statement. "As an organization with many 'firsts,' including establishing the first wildlife rehabilitation hospital in the country and the first to perform many breakthrough medical treatments and protocols for wild animal care, it seems fitting to remain here on First Avenue in Walnut Creek."
Lindsay survived a 14-month closure during the pandemic with "generous community support," the statement said. Lindsay is now focused on enhancing its exhibit hall and wildlife hospital through its current $2.5 million "Go Wild with Lindsay" campaign.
"The lease agreement will help the organization reach this goal and keep delivering its unique educational outreach programs to families and schools throughout the Bay Area and beyond," the statement said.
Walnut Creek Mayor Matt Francois is obviously a big fan of the deal.
"For years, parents have known that school field trips to the Lindsay Wildlife Experience are among the most memorable, as kids have had a behind-the-scenes look at the unique work underway in our own backyard," Francois said in a statement. "Having Lindsay remain in Walnut Creek ensures opportunities for so many budding scientists and physicians to get to a front row seat at the work there, all while enhancing the knowledge of kids and adults alike about the efforts to preserve and enhance wildlife. We are grateful for the partnership."
More than 5,000 wild animals are treated at Lindsay annually. It's also home to 50 rehabilitated animals that couldn't be released.
Founded by the late Alexander "Sandy" Lindsay, Lindsay Wildlife Experience began as a modest collection of natural history specimens for neighborhood children. In 1955, it blossomed into the Diablo Junior Museum Association and underwent a name change before relocating to Larkey Park.
The Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital was established in 1970, the first such wildlife rehabilitation facility in the United States. After the construction of its current home in 1993 following a $7 million capital campaign, the organization completed its transformation into the Lindsay Wildlife Experience, which serves more than 100,000 children and adults each year.
More information about Lindsay Wildlife Experience can be found at lindsaywildlife.org or by calling 925-935-1978.