EAST LANSING, Mich. — When a mid-Michigan resident finds an injured animal in their backyard, who are they going to call?
A Michigan licensed wild-life rehabilitator, Marsh takes care of fawns, foxes, cats, squirrels, groundhogs and more at her property, Nottingham Nature Nook.
This is a wildlife sanctuary is situated in Bath Township next door to Marsh's horse barn.
It's there, inside Marsh's home, a neighboring rental home and custom-built enclosures, that she nurses animals back to health.
"We've really spaced out which is really nice," said Marsh. "My poor little house was bursting at the seams, so we had to do something."
Marsh has two summer interns and a volunteer who helps her in her work.
It's with their help that she has saved over 3,380 animals over the past 15 years.
Marsh has paid for each of these animals and built custom habitats for them, all with her own money.
"So we're a 501(c)(3)," said Marsh. "I became that eight years ago because I was going broke. So I incorporated that, it's made a huge difference because people are so amazingly generous and really support everything that I do."
However, with few active wildlife rehabilitators in the state, she is constantly working to keep up with an overwhelming number of phone calls and messages between feedings. The injured animals just keep coming.
"It's hard," Marsh said. "I mean, it's a lot of heartache. You see a lot of animals that are injured, a lot of animals that you have to, birds and animals that you have to put to sleep. So it's a lot, it's a lot more emotionally too."
Marsh gets less hands-on with each of her babies as they grow, getting them ready for life in the wild when they're ready.
"So when we eventually release them, then the nice thing is, is I just open the very back door, and then they can come and go," said Marsh. "So that's what we call it a 'soft release.' So they don't have to leave the property."
More than 85 percent of the animals Marsh takes in are successfully rehabilitated and re-released.
All the while, Marsh says, the people who stay here are being healed too.
"It's a healing place where nature, wildlife, and people all come together as one," Marsh said. "When you think of everything as separate entities, we're never going to reach that kind of harmony that we're all looking for. I feel like so many people are lost now because they're not connected to nature anymore. They're not connected to the creatures anymore. They're so busy looking at their cell phones, they don't have time to look around."
If you'd like to donate to Nottingham Nature Nook, there are some perks. Those who donate can come and see Marsh working with the animals.
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