The much loved 3,600 sq ftAfrican Grey Aviary
It's time to say "good-bye" to the old, and "hello" to the new.
The 3,600 sq ft African Grey Parrot Aviary has been in use for about 12 years. It was one of the first structures created by Matt here at Project Perry. Matt was just starting out and built the incredible aviary that quickly became the “centerpiece” of Project Perry. There has always been a great interest in the African Grey Aviary and the cage free world visitors are able to enter and enjoy time with free flighted parrots. There is nothing like this aviary out there with the four season capability, bird safe live plants and trees rooted into the earth creating a never-ending toy supply for birds to chew on. Tropical plants flourish inside of the climate-controlled area year-round, unless busy beaks say otherwise! HA!
While this aviary is still 100% functional and safe, it is time for it to be upgraded. It is better to act now BEFORE there are issues versus waiting a year or two for issues to possibly begin. Matt and I both look at it and constantly see the ways that it could be improved. We know we could make it more energy efficient which would save the birds money on their heating bills. We know that it can be rebuilt to last for many decades versus many years. It is also becoming a bit of an eye sore as the birds destroy portions of it. I suppose it goes with our perfectionist ways but when it comes to keeping our residents safe, that’s not a bad thing. Their chewing also causes Matt use up valuable time to address their destruction so that they all remain safe in their home. Matt has since learned ways to deter and prevent chewing as he continued building new structures.
In keeping with the transparency our supporters have come to know and expect from Project Perry, I’ll have to backtrack just a little bit. Many long term supporters are aware that this new aviary is being built in addition to the 3,600 sq ft and 1,250 sq ft aviaries for our constant growing population of African Grey Parrots. The purpose of the 2,400 sq ft aviary has since changed... temporarily. This is a good place to quit reading if you don’t like blunt truths.
This aviary should’ve been finished years ago based on how efficiently Matt builds these aviaries, but due to the lack of good help from employees, Matt and I had to take on the majority of the sanctuary work ourselves, which left little to no time for anything else. Making sure the birds and their current structures in use were safe and clean has been most important. So, the new aviary just sat as the years went by and failure after failure came here to work for a while only to let us down, but more sadly, they let the birds down. We’ve been lied to, we’ve been extremely disrespected, we’ve had young people come here to work and inform Matt how to do something better, or point out how he did it wrong, only to be butt-hurt when he showed them that they had no idea what they were talking about. They didn’t come to learn, they came here thinking that they already knew it all. We’ve had to babysit constant lazy employees who were on a path of making a big mistake but thankfully we caught on in time to prevent anything from happening. Sadly, the sanctuary’s growth had to suffer due to the complete failures who said what we wanted to hear in order to be hired, just to show us who they truly were later on. Matt and I both realized that we had to rely on one another and gave up on looking for quality people to work here. The majority of people who applied are selfish and lack ambition. This was a place for them to take as much as they could from the sanctuary to better their personal situation instead of giving a bit of their heart to the sanctuary to help it thrive. Everything froze while Matt and I cared for the current residents, including intakes. I watched Matt every day, pushing through broken hearted that this incredible place he created many years ago, would most likely have to operate with a significantly lower resident population due to the countless employee failures. He created this place. He worked his butt off for accreditation proving that Project Perry is the real deal. He worked so hard to PROVE that Project Perry is legit. He busted his butt to create the reputation that Project Perry has. He has created a quality of life for the parrots here and he has created structures second to none. Matt created the real deal. He created true sanctuary. He created many of the requirements of himself on his own that most accreditation foundations require. As I’ve watched this broken-hearted man, my amazing team-mate, continue working for the birds he loves so much as he watched his dream of a long-term successful sanctuary hang in the balance. I knew that I had to act, and I put the employee want ad back up. Matt had given up on the search. I pretty much did for a while as well. I told Matt that he didn’t have to deal with any of it, I’d handle it. We’ve been extremely selective as I weeded out the types of applicants we’ve become accustomed to. While dealing with the sad realization of the sanctuary’s possible future, dealing with endless interviews, and everything else that we were going through over the past many years… I found out that I had cancer. The first thing I thought about when I was diagnosed was Project Perry and all of the work I have left to do. By the grace of God and Matt’s constant support on top of everything else, it looks like so far I’ve won the cancer battle. Supporters helped me so much with their reaching out. God willing, I will never have anything like it again. Matt and I haven't failed this amazing place. Even with everything thrown at us, we never even considered giving up or abandoning the sanctuary residents. The selfish people who have come here to take from the sanctuary instead of helping it be successful are the failures. Everyone has had an excuse and tried to place blame instead of taking responsibility for their own failure to the sanctuary.
So, in the past few years due to the lack of quality employees, Matt and I made the decision to significantly slow our intakes of parrots not already on the acceptance list,... indefinitely. For this reason, the new 2,400 sq ft aviary can safely and comfortably house our current resident population living in the 3,600 sq ft African Grey Aviary. Very soon the 2,400 sq ft aviary will be completed and the 3,600 sq ft aviary will be dismantled. A new and improved aviary will be built where it currently stands! Our Project Perry African Grey Residents will be making the move to their new home sometime in May. Thankfully now with our amazing employees (it's about time, haha)... we can finally move forward here at Project Perry.
Ready for more good news? A very generous donor has provided Project Perry $150,000.00 for the new 3,600 sq ft African Grey Parrot Aviary.
What does this mean? It means all systems GO!
This will be Matt’s last aviary masterpiece. The current standing structures will receive upgrades as needed. There will be 7 working incredible structures at Project Perry to provide a safe life for birds lucky enough to land here. Quite a few amazing developments have come to light here at Project Perry and the sanctuary looks like it will still have the amazing long life that Matt has always dreamed of after all. The biggest reward for me is seeing that smile on his face now that he has realized that he’s not in this alone. Matt and I will never fail these birds. These birds... this place... is our life. There's no where else we'd rather be. (Even with no time off! HA!)
Soon, we will be scheduling a volunteer day for anyone who wants to help dismantle the 3,600 sq ft African Grey Aviary. I’m pretty sure Matt and I will cry sentimental tears… but this is going to be amazing!
I am so proud of Matt. He has truly created true sanctuary for parrots. He had no idea the detail I planned to go into here. Again, I think it is fair to let everyone out there who loves us as well as supports our vision; know the truth about our decision to change what the 2,400 sq ft aviary will (temporarily) be used for. Those who don’t love us, the birds, or our vision… well, you can’t hold us down. Good try though.