Radnor Lake Aviary Project

The Barbara J. Mapp Foundation Grant Awarded to RLSNA

by Steve Ward, Park Manager

Radnor staff and members of the aviary team work on the future site details of the Aviary Education Center at Radnor Lake.
Radnor staff and members of the aviary team work on the future site details of the Aviary Education Center at Radnor Lake.

After many years on my “wish list,” Radnor Lake will have an aviary. The project is a culmination of more than two years of partnering with The Barbara J. Mapp Foundation, which last year awarded Friends of Radnor Lake a $150,000 grant to construct an Aviary Education Center. The Barbara J. Mapp Foundation’s mission is to support efforts to protect animals, conserve habitat and improve the bond between people and animals. In addition, the foundation has offered up to $10,000 matching funds for the construction of the bald eagle pen as part of the aviary and up to $5,000 matching funds annually for five years to help operate and maintain the center. Since my arrival to Radnor Lake in 2001, this is the largest grant awarded to Friends of Radnor Lake toward environmental educational programming.
This is not the first time we have partnered with The Barbara J. Mapp Foundation. In 2011, the foundation awarded Radnor Lake a generous grant to completely overhaul the reptile exhibits—substantially improving the care of the captive reptiles used for programming by the ranger staff and enhancing the education outreach at Radnor.
After the successful completion of the reptile exhibits, Norm Miede with the foundation began working with Friends of Radnor Lake board members Charley Hankla and Lester Turner and formed an impromptu aviary committee that also included Debby Miede, architect Marion Fowlkes and myself. We traveled to four sites across the state to look at facilities and consult with experts in the field of caring for and rehabilitating birds of prey.
After conducting those site visits, Marion began putting down on paper the concepts and ideas we had accumulated. Since that time, countless hours have been spent getting the proper permits, including wheelchair accessibility, while incorporating green materials into the project and ensuring that the chosen location was a “good fit.”
Final details of the project and a groundbreaking date will be announced on our website and in an upcoming newsletter.
Until then, a special thanks to:

  • Norm and Debby Miede
  • The Barbara J. Mapp Board
  • FORL board members Charley Hankla and Lester Turner
  • Architect Marion Fowlkes and staff
  • Walter Cook with TWRA
  • Radnor Lake staff
  • Friends of Radnor Lake board
  • Isaac Okoreeh-baah, ADA coordinator for Tennessee State Parks
  • Mike Baron and the folks at Baron Construction
  • Nashville Electric Service for donating poles for the project
  • Commissioner Bob Martineau, Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill and Director Mike Robertson
  • Jeff Wells, director of program services (TSP)
  • City of Oak Hill Planning Commission