Spectrum (Charter) Communications executives Nick Pavlis, TN Director of Government Affairs; Jason Keller, Regional Senior Director of TN Government Affairs; and Zachary Bates, Senior Manager TN State Government Affairs, came to the Aviary at Cumberland Mountain State Park on Sept. 6 to present a donation for the aviary renovation to the Friends of Cumberland Mountain State Park group. Present were TN Speaker of House of Representatives Cameron Sexton, who has been a board member of the Friends of CMSP for many years, his daughter Olivia and state Senator Paul Bailey. Rangers Monica Johnson and Mark Houston and secretary of the Friends of CMSP Laurie Snyder received the very generous donation of $5,000.
Thanks to many individual donors like this, the Friends of CMSP now have $17,400 towards renovations. These will include an amphitheater at the aviary for educational presentations and an extension adding two to the present four aviary cages. The new ones will allow park raptors Henson the red tailed hawk and Petrie the barn owl to have flight space. The other four birds, including McKenzie the barred owl and Dolly the American kestrel, will remain and the park’s great horned owl and Bobble the screech owl will also be on display. All birds were rescued and cannot survive in the wild.
One of Spectrum's goals is education and the birds are often invited to local schools, camps, Junior Ranger Camp and other presentations in the area. The values of protecting the raptors and their environment are encouraged. Everyone is a wildlife ambassador.