Mike Reed Retires after 34 Years!

James Liethen
With the latest major facility project at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary now complete, Mike Reed is retiring. Reed has been with the Sanctuary for more than 34 years, starting as Curator of Animals and moving up through the ranks to become Sanctuary Director in 2011, and wrapping up his career as Project Manager for the new Dick Resch & Family Nature and Conservation Center.

“It wouldn’t be possible to capture in a few words what Mike has done for the Sanctuary throughout his tenure,” stated Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich. “His leadership has been a tremendous benefit to our local environment, wildlife, and the countless children and families who have walked through its doors. I thank him for his tireless commitment to this community gem, and I wish him continued success in the years ahead.”

“I’ve been fortunate to work at such an outstanding facility,” said Reed. “Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is a community jewel. It’s great to see all of the support the Sanctuary receives from the community. I especially want to thank the Friends of the Wildlife Sanctuary – or FOWLS – for its efforts in raising funds to expand and enhance the Sanctuary. It has been a great group to work with through the years and I appreciate their efforts.” Reed will continue working with Friends of the Wildlife Sanctuary as it wraps up its efforts on the new Dick Resch & Family Nature and Conservation Center.

Among Reed’s many accomplishments during his time at the Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • Facility expansions and improvements: In addition to the $3.2 million Dick Resch & Family Nature and Conservation Center, under Reed’s tenure:
  • Upgrades and enhancements were made to the Observation Waterfall Area, including lighting for the falls and its paths
  • Upgrades were made to the Nature Center and Observation Buildings
  • A new, modern bridge was added at the Observation Building
  • Working with Leadership Green Bay, a new handicapped accessible fishing dock was installed in 2016
  • A nature-based 4K Kindergarten was established at the Nature Center. The program has received national recognition and, even with an expansion of the program, it has experienced a waiting list each year since its inception
  • The R-PAWS program (Rehabilitation Program at the Wildlife Sanctuary) was established at the Wildlife Sanctuary under Reed. This volunteer-based program has grown from caring for 500 orphaned and injured animals in 1985 to more than 5,500 in 2018; primarily through the use of trained volunteers.
  • Community collaborations: A number of partnerships and collaborations were started or expanded under Reed’s leadership, including collaborations with the Oneida Nation, the Field Museum of Natural History and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
  • Program expansions: The Sanctuary has grown its numerous community programs including Autumn Adventure, wildlife education programs and its summer camp program which expanded from 4 sessions to 16 sessions in 2019.

Friends of the Wildlife Sanctuary (FOWLS) President Dan Spielmann summed up Mike’s career by saying, “Mike has dedicated his life to improving and expanding the Sanctuary. It has been a pleasure working with him and we wish him well in his retirement.” Reed’s last day on the job was August 31, 2019.

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